Civil Rights Movement as Show Biz
Monday - August 9, 1965
WOR Show Original Airing
First Line After Theme Ends
I think that's enough of that mediocrity. . .
Driving in a cab in New York takes a hour and a half to go six blocks. The dirt of New York just descends in great undulating waves like a rain. The radio in the cab plays on and on and on. "My mother told me to go to school, I did and he didn't"
"Entertainment has superceded any serious situations we are faced with. Most people get very irritated when they begin to hear serious discussions of one thing or another about subjects which can be very very troublesome unless they are larded with laughs, unless they're watching a star do it."
Americans have one of the lowest boredom thresholds. They are one of the quickest bored in the world. America is a country of extroverts, bowlers, playgoers, Mary Martin fans, and demonstrating fans.
Shep often gets invited to talk about Civil Rights or Vietnam, but they want him to be funny. Shep makes mention of how when he tells an Army story that deals with the war people get really bothered and write angry letters. Like the time I told the Army story about riding in the back of the train, sleeping on the coffin of a dead PFC.
He is referring to the Jun 26, 1965 Limelight show in which he tells about sleeping on the coffin.