“Mo Rocca does some digging into the Reagan wit and uncovers a treasure trove of jokes – many written by the man himself – in a very humorous look back on a politician who always had a one-liner at hand.”
From CBS Sunday Morning
I’m surprised with Ronald Reagan’s great sense of humor and not all of it being political, that after his b-movie acting career dried up like fresh dirt in the desert in the 1950s, that he didn’t go into comedy writing and perhaps take that writing which he did anyway on the stage. And try a career as a comedic actor, or a standup comedian, hosting his own late night talk show, which is what Jack Parr, Jack Benny and later Johnny Carson did. That type of format would’ve been perfect for him. He obviously wasn’t a great actor, but someone with intelligence, who could also act and with a great sense of humor.
To sort of build on Ron Reagan’s daughter Patti and what she said about her father in the video: Reagan had a rough childhood. He didn’t have an absent father, but he probably saw his father drunk as often as he saw him sober and that made things difficult for him and his family.
And then you look at his broadcasting, entertainment and then later political career, you would almost have to have a great sense of humor to get through those experiences. Out-of-work in your early forties or so in the 1950s when practically everyone else was working in the 1950s, must have been rough on Big Ron.
Reagan had the GM Theater show, which was similar to what you see now with Turner Classic Movies. Where there would be a host coming out and giving a little preview of the movie and then they would go to the movie.
And then after that is was basically straight into politics. First campaigning for Barry Goldwater when he ran for president in 1964 and starting his own political career in 1965. When I think he probably could’ve been successful pre-politics as a comedy writer, or even political satirist. And writing satires and articles and perhaps even books. Telling people what is funny and what he thinks Americans should be thinking about politically as well.