Art in name

Remembering the Arts:

Art Linkletter: Arthur Gordon “Art” Linkletter (July 17, 1912 – May 26, 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio and TV for 19 years.

Linkletter was famous for interviewing children on House Party and Kids Say the Darndest Things, which led to a series of books quoting children. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1942.

It was television golden days and it was clean and sometimes funny. We laughed at the small gags. Rarely was there a sexual innuendo. Behind the scenes there was I am sure hanky panky but not on the set. You never saw Lucy do anything that indicated sex. Danny Thomas was as clean as you can get.

On Kids there would be a moment to pause as a child would say something with a hint of impropriety. Today these shows float badly. They are to tame. Check out the Big Bang and count how many sex or sexual jokes there are. The whole show is about sex and the juxtaposition of the characters.

Art Carney: Arthur William Matthew “Art” Carney (November 4, 1918 – November 9, 2003) was an American actor in film, stage, television and radio. He is best known for playing Ed Norton, opposite Jackie Gleason‘s Ralph Kramden in the situation comedy The Honeymooners, and for winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Harry and Tonto.

Another one from the age when television censored itself. His stuff was usually against the great Jackie Gleason. He was a little like Lou Costello. Physical humor to an extent and a second banana.

Artemus Gordon: aka: Ross Martin: After his performance in The Great Race, CBS cast Martin in what was to become his most famous part, Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon in The Wild Wild West, opposite Robert Conrad. Martin’s character, a master gadgeteer and disguise artist, fitted Martin perfectly. Martin created most of his disguises for the show, and most of the cast had no idea what he would look like until seeing him during the shooting of the episode. The recent DVD release of the first season of the series includes a recently discovered pre-production sketch Martin had made of his very first make-up design for the pilot episode. Another episode revealed another of Martin’s talents: he was a concert-trained violinist.

To me he will forever be Artie. The second to West. It was a ritual on Friday night to see Wild, Wild West. It was silly and pretty dumb but for some reason I loved the chemistry between the two guys.

He was a master of disguise and voices.

Well, there are three Arts from the past, now gone and slowly fading away from our memories.

A toast to them and a television past which was kinder and gentle.


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