February 17, 2021

Pat Paulsen for President

Am I dating myself to say that I remember Pat Paulsen and his 1968 presidential campaign? Probably, but I hold out hope that most of my loyal readers know who I'm talking about. (If not, this is a good place to start.)

I was never really a fan of Paulsen's shtick, just as I was never a fan of the Smothers Brothers, on whose show Paulsen was a regular. Perhaps I was too young back then, perhaps not, but my feelings toward them haven't changed appreciably in the 50+ years since.

However, let it not be said that I refuse to give credit where credit is due. In retrospect, Paulsen's mock campaigns for the presidency, especially the original one in 1968 (second acts rarely live up to the first), has some great moments, chief among which is this very funny interview during CBS's coverage of the 1968 Republican National Convention. His straight man is CBS's very serious political correspondent Daniel Schorr. (I never knew Schorr had it in him, although he did once sing with Frank Zappa; the things you learn in this job.) 

Here's the interview, introduced by the deadpan Walter Cronkite, in all its glorious color; as Cronkite mentions several times during the course of the proceedings, it is the first time an American political convention has ever been telecast in color. I think that, regardless of which party you support, you'll all agree that even though the images today are in HD, the conventions have far less color. 

Stephen Colbert, eat your heart out. TV  

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