Monday, June 02, 2014

How did you come up with your unique style of entertainment?

Clive James is terminally ill with emphysema and leukaemia. Based in England since the 1960's, he is so ill that he will never be able to return home to Australia and die in his homeland. Over the weekend he appeared at a literary festival in London.

In the 1990's, I was something of a fan, reading the first three volumes of his Unreliable Memoirs, and his television work, through which he made having no social life on Saturday nights slightly more bearable. His various series showcased bad television from around the world. Amongst other things, he introduced me to inept stuntman, Super Dave, kitschy instructional films such as Shy Guy (1947), and Beginning to Date (1953), in which a teenage boy asks out a girl who is a foot taller than him, the infamous Japanese game show, Endurance, bad American children's show, Nubeluz, and of course the inexplicably popular Cuban songstress Margarita Pracatan.

Part of the fun of watching him was his interviews. He was very skilled at making fun of his guests without them realizing it. The studio audience was in on the joke, as were more astute viewers. Television has never been the same since he stopped doing it. He doesn't have long to live, and will be sadly missed.


Kitty said...

This is interesting Ross. I never thought of coming up with my unique style of entertainment but I have been always thinking about the marketing concept of the 'unique selling proposition', which I guess he did very well through his TV shows and interviews.

Ross said...

The title of this blog post came from a question that Clive James asked Margarita Pracatan, who he discovered through her appearance on a public access television programme in New York.