Jack Paar, the Late Night Talk Show Pioneer, died today at age 85. He took over the â€œTonight Showâ€ from Steve Allen in the mid fifties and his wit, sentimentality and easy style captivated the country. He attracted a wide variety of guests, from Judy Garland to the â€œCharley Weaverâ€ character created by Cliff Arquette.
I remember being in my early teens when Jack Paar walked off the show in protest of the networkâ€™s decision not to air a joke about a â€œwater closetâ€ (i.e. a bathroom). I recall that the dispute so caught the countryâ€™s attention that the principal of my junior high school, at an assembly, lectured us that there were far more important things to think about other than some â€œrich, television personality walking off his show.â€ I suppose there were more important things, but I donâ€™t remember them today. I do, however, remember Mr. Paarâ€™s dramatic exit from the program.
I got it then, and I get it now.
May he rest in peace.