Monday, February 19, 2007



[Read the poem yourself, and imagine Stewart reading it on the Tonight Show. Does anyone think Carson's estate lost a single dollar because of this video being on youtube? I think the opposite is more likely; watching this snippet might have encouraged me to go out and buy the Carson box set.]

Just look at me: reduced to tears listening to an 81-year old Jimmy Stewart read a poem about his dog Beau on the Tonight Show. Watch this video and appreciate the unabashed sincerity of the great actor.

I waste a lot of time wishing that things were as good as they used to be. I don't want to be one of those guys who's always saying, "back in my day . . ." First of all, I'm not old enough, but it does seem obvious that certain things just aren't what they used to be. Take entertainment. We used to have Frank; now we have Justin. We used to have Marilyn; now we have (had) Anna Nicole. Then: Cary Grant, now: Marky Mark. Before all you people who prefer not to live in the past jump on me and point out all of the talented artists around here, I concede their talent. It strikes me, though, that the most popular people now are a far bit less something than the most popular people then. For whatever reason, Mr. Johnny Carson comes to mind when I think about this something.

It's not just that Johnny sits by as Jimmy reads a long, heartfelt poem about his dog. It's that he does it without conveying the slightest bit of patronizing indulgence. Like viewers, he was genuinely touched to be sitting there, listening to this aging statesman of an actor read a poem he wrote about the passing life of a dog.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Good stuff. The video reminds me of my Purdy girl and how she was gone too soon, but what a lesson she taught this adult in grieving for a pet. I'll always love a dog named Purdy.