Mister D: Probably my all time favorite talk show performance of Bette’s career. Do you agree? If not, what’s yours?
ALL OF THEM!!!
EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!
Oh, honey! When I was but a wee little dragling and Bette was a guest on Carson, my own damned mother (who was an old school Appalachian woman, and not even NEARLY the hippest of people) would WAKE US UP to see her! If she was on Carson, it was a GIVEN that it was going to be a very VERY big deal!
Thanks to Youtube, we can all go back and see many of those performances.
What I find most interesting about this segment (and a few others) is that those of us who have followed her can see PRECISELY where she was at that point in her life offstage. Carson was like Windex on Bette’s world. When she was frustrated…you KNEW it. If it was her career, her weight or something hidden in her personal life, you could always tell when she had had enough. I remember watching her on Carson promoting Beaches thinking, “She’s unhappy about something.”
What I got from these shows and Bette’s place in them was HONESTY …something a guest on that show or any since EVER allow us simpletons to see.
Bette and Johnny were seriously a comedic team as important as Burns and Allen. And I think America saw that and knew that it would never be as important again as it was when we watched it. Together, they were MAGIC, and it was NOT just a simple act of kindness that Carson asked her to close his act out. It was NECESSARY! He was her brood hen, she his star rooster, and they BOTH owed each other a great deal!
Sure, Johnny brought her into the light and shared her with the rest of America, but she often brought America back to him when everybody was too cool for school and wanted an Arsenio fix. (WTF???) There was a mutual admiration society that we all felt like we were a part of.
Also noteworthy are her appearances on Oprah! ALL OF THEM! (But First Wives, especially!)
Thank you SO MUCH for this, Mister D.!
The Divine Grace