He was already a television and radio star by the time I was born, yet I still remember fondly all the laughter shared with the American television kids of my generation. Art Linkletter, host of “People are Funny” and “Art Linkletter’s House Party” was a regular on radio then television from 1942 until 1969. After his hosting years, he wrote, lectured and appeared in television commercials as well as guest spots on Bill Cosby’s more recent version of a show featuring children. He published several books including “Old Age is Not for Sissies,” “How To Be a Supersalesman,” “Confessions of a Happy Man,” “Hobo on the Way to Heaven” and his autobiography, ‘`I Didn’t Do It Alone.” He also collected sayings from the 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.
He was preceded in death by his 20 year old daughter Diane in 1969 when she jumped from a sixth floor Hollywood apartment, son Robert died in a car accident in 1970 and son Jack who died of lymphoma in 2007. He is survived by his wife Lois and daughters Sharon and Dawn.
I will remember the laughter, the times I watched his show when I was a little kid….and the times I would watch him interact with Cosby on more recent television shows highlighting the things that children say and do.
This post does not have anything to do with my writing, my everyday life or even my research. It represents the laughter that he brought to millions who listened to him on the radio or watched him on television. And laughter, to me, is one of the best things in life.
Rest in peace Art,