"Kids Say the Darndest Things" Author Art Linkletter Dies

This may be giving away my age, but one of my favorites books as a child was “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Propped in front of me at the breakfast table, that well-worn book plucked from my parent’s bookshelf was always good for a laugh while I ate my Cheerios.

Art Linkletter, the man responsible for that book, as well as several popular television shows in the 1950’s and 1960’s, died this week at the ripe old age of 97.

Art Linkletter started his career as a radio announcer and went on to gain fame hosting “House Party,” one of television’s longest-running variety shows. Though the program featured many different segments, it was Linkletter’s interviews with children that stole the show.

The self-described “everybody’s next door neighbor” had a gentle demeanor and a friendly way that put his young interview subjects at ease. He was the perfect straight man for the often hilarious things that came out of these children’s mouths.

Some of the funniest quotes were compiled into what would become my go-to book when looking for a laugh. “Kids Say the Darndest Things” sold millions of copies and, according to Bill Cosby, allowed adults to see children for what they are: enjoyable.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” I highly recommend it.  And if really funny kid stuff isn’t enough to entice you, consider this:  The illustrations in the book are the work of Charles M. Schulz.  Yes, that Charles M. Schulz.

Sadly, my copy of that book has long since disappeared.  But here, for your viewing pleasure, is a clip from a 1959 episode of “House Party.”


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