View Full Version : Art Linkletter dies

05-26-2010, 04:32 PM
TV's 'People Are Funny' host Art Linkletter dies

LOS ANGELES (http://topics.philly.com/topic/Los_Angeles) - Art Linkletter (http://topics.philly.com/topic/Art_Linkletter), whose "People Are Funny" and "House Party" shows entertained millions of TV viewers in the 1950s and '60s with the funny side of ordinary folks and who remained active as a writer and speaker through his ninth decade, died Wednesday. He was 97.
Linkletter died at his home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, said his son-in-law, Art Hershey, the husband of Sharon Linkletter.
"He lived a long, full, pure life, and the Lord had need for him," Hershey said.
Linkletter had been ill "in the last few weeks time, but bear in mind he was 97 years old. He wasn't eating well, and the aging process took him," Hershey said.
Linkletter hadn't been diagnosed with any life-threatening disease, he said.
Linkletter was known on TV for his funny interviews with children and ordinary folks. He also collected their comments in a number of best-selling books.
"Art Linkletter's House Party," one of television's longest-running variety shows, debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS-TV from 1952 to 1969.
Though it had many features, the best known was the daily interviews with schoolchildren.
"On `House Party' I would talk to you and bring out the fact that you had been letting your boss beat you at golf over a period of months as part of your campaign to get a raise," Linkletter wrote.
"All the while, without your knowledge, your boss would be sitting a few feet away listening, and at the appropriate moment, I would bring you together," he said. "Now, that's funny, because the laugh arises out of a real situation."
Linkletter collected quotes from children into "Kids Say The Darndest Things," and it sold in the millions. The book "70 Years of Best Sellers 1895-1965" ranked "Kids Say the Darndest Things" as the 15th top seller among nonfiction books in that period.

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05-26-2010, 05:04 PM
I - at the risk of being extremely insensitive - thought he was already dead.

Nevertheless, I remember being a little kid and watching his program after school - Kids say the Darndest Things. He always reminded me of my great-uncle Roy with his slicked back hair and always a chuckle out of him.

eta: I just read the obit that was linked. He was pre-deceased by 3 of his children and he was born to an unwed mother and was a hobo for a while. I never would have guessed. He seemed so jovial.

05-26-2010, 05:21 PM
I remember him fondly. As an adult I heard him say that his good posture was due to his wife constantly reminding him to stay up straight and I use that on my hubby, too, reminding him that Art had his wife to thank for good posture in his old age!

Art use to hang around Sonoma County as his son use to live here. Art was also a memeber of the tree peeing Bohemian Club. Art and Dennis Day, along with several other well know performers in their day, use to do a charity concert for kids in the Russian River Area where the summer encampment takes place. Needless to say, Art was very revered around here.

05-26-2010, 06:56 PM
I watched his TV programs both as a kid and as an adult and loved them.

He treated every child he met and interviewed with respect. He was quite a person.

05-26-2010, 08:16 PM
wow. 97 It's been years since I've heard anything about him.

05-27-2010, 12:20 PM
I remember finding his Kids Say the Darndest Things books when I was in high school. Bet I could still go straight to the place on the shelf where they are without having to look them up first. That was the start of my addiction to reading comedy books, which are in the same part of the library.