Thu, 03/08/2007

Art Linkletter's Archive Interview is Now Online

Take a look at one of the newest interviews online -- show host Art Linkletter. He's truly an engaging and a exceptional storyteller. Here's one of our favorite little-known anecdotes from the interview:

On the opening of Disneyland in 1956 (Part 4 at 16 minutes in):

Walt Disney asked me if I would be MC [for the opening of Disneyland]. It was live, two hours, no tape in those days, no rehearsal, jumping all over the fairgrounds doing the thing. He knew I was good at that and he wanted me to do it. Then he said, "Art, we have a difficult moment here. We’re good friends, and I’ve gotta negotiate a price with you. Why don’t you have an agent like every other normal star in Hollywood?" I said, "because I like to do my own business." He said, "I’m not playing poor boy, but we’ve had cost overruns, we’ve had strikes, we’ve had problems financing. I’ve had to mortgage part of the studio." I said, "it’s a sad story but don’t tell me any more because you don’t need any of those arguments with me. I’ll do it for scale." He said, "you’ll do it for scale?" I said, "Certainly. And in return I expect you to do something for me. I’m a partner in one of the largest photo development companies in Los Angeles, and I would like to have the concession for all the film and all the cameras sold at Disneyland for the next ten years." He says, "You've got it!" So I got the highest fee anybody ever got for appearing on any show, even Oprah.

To access his whole interview, click here.

Interview description:
In his 6-part oral history interview, Art Linkletter discusses his years in radio and his start, in 1950, in his first television series, Life with Linkletter. Linkletter recounts his most memorable stories from the television series he is most associated with, Art Linkletter's House Party and People Are Funny. For these series, he discusses the shows' universal appeals and his humorous interviews with thousands of kids. The interview was conducted on September 15, 1997 by Sam Denoff.