A.K.A. Art Linkletter was the consummate raconteur through media. He collected and shared other people’s stories. What made people laugh was his forte and in turn created television shows to encourage laughter. A feel good quote of his was ” things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” He lived a long, ingratiating and from all accounts well integrated life. Adept at putting people at ease, his pronounced talent. He worked with his son, how cool, spent lots of time in his career discovering the underbelly of what makes people tick. He was the straight man to children and brought out the unposed honesty that spills “out of the mouths of babes.”
He was a belly laugh enabler. “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was a show that he hosted from 1945-1969. It then had an encore performance from 1998-2000 co-hosted with Bill Cosby. Don’t get me started about character malfunction. Anyway, back to laughter.
Laughter is…the best medicine. Belly grabbing, breathless, endorphin producing and free. Sit next to the funny person. Grab moments watching re-runs of Sid Caesar, Red Skelton and Carol Burnett. They were funny and knew it. When Jon Stewart said good-bye a large group of us were dismayed. The Rodney Dangerfields and the Andrew Dice Clays stood up with silly, gross humor- none the less funny.
When Jack Benny cradled his chin with his hand, we laughed, based on postulating talent.
Happy Mother’s Day! My husband and I are blessed to share moments, days and sleepovers with lots of Grandchildren. Nobody creates laughter in us like they do. Not only their silly behaviors or the result of tickles, but the Art Linklater-esque questions they ask. The bi-products of first time experiences, sheer innocence and delightful naivety are priceless.
Last week our 3 and 4 months old (ask her she’ll tell you) asked to see her baby pictures.
As the consummate picture hoarder I gathered a few to show her. She looked at an early one where she has several months old hair. Her startled look, borderline confusion and the question that followed had me on the floor grabbing my stomach. She looked up at me and asked with extreme sincerity- “JUDY- I’m a boy?” I caught my breath, grabbed a chair to help get up and asked why? She then said “my hair is so weird.” Case in point. Art Linkletter, kudos to your renowned production of splendid insights. That interaction added moments of joy that linger and linger. With euphoric recall I am still laughing.
As we watch these beauties grow (8) to be precise- through first time- lots of things moments we get to be young again. So just for today, as a woman who never had any children of her own- but is one Lucky Lady-I say Happy Mother’s Day to one and all. Hold tighter, laugh harder and Shout Hallelujah come on get happy, chase all your cares away.