Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Have you ever wondered what a big movie star thinks about when he watches his or her old movies? I have. When I see a movie like “The Graduate,” I wonder what Dustin Hoffman thinks when watching himself 40 years after the movie was made.

Or, the great Kirk Douglas viewing “Spartacus,” filmed 47 years ago. Does it feel strange?

I’ve been experiencing strange feelings myself as I edit the DVD, “My Name is Lloyd Thaxton – So What.” Believe it or not, except for one or two clips, I am looking at footage I haven't seen for over 40 years.

I find myself smiling a lot. Even laughing out loud. I’m thrilled when I see how talented the kids are when they perform in the lip-sync contests. To me, it’s kind of an “American Idol” rip-off (If you can rip-off a show 40 years BEFORE it happens). And, the dance contests are cheerily reminiscent of “Dancing With The Stars.” My groups of kids are performing their hearts out in hopes of winning the big prize: tickets to Disneyland and a couple record albums (remember those prizes?). Better yet, applause from their peers.

But, what about me? What do I feel when I see what I looked like 40 years ago? I find it difficult to say “me”, or “I,” when referring to myself. There is no “myself.” That young person I see on the screen doesn’t really seem like me anymore. So I talk in the third person. I say things like, “Let’s look at Lloyd’s number again. He’s funny in that one,” or, “There’s a little too much of Lloyd on the DVD. We need more of the kids.” I sometimes catch editor Dan Schaarschmidt smiling at me sideways when I do that.

I remember sitting in a screening room a few years ago viewing an old film. Sitting next to me was one of the stars of the movie. After one of his very dramatic scenes, he turned to me and said. “That guy deserves an Oscar.” I thought the remark was very quaint; “that guy” being him. But now, after spending so much time looking at my young self, I understand. By speaking in the third person, he could get away with bragging about that OTHER actor ...

... or, criticizing. There was one of my LTS routines we were considering that we liked a lot. However, I felt my introduction to the song made me look bad. On the tape I was kidding with the cameraman regarding the angle of his shot. Taken out of context, it gave the impression that I was criticizing him on the air. I said, “Cut out Lloyd’s introduction, It makes him look like an ass." Again, the editor smiled. I had just called myself an ass.

Maybe that’s how Dustin Hoffman feels. Or, Kirk Douglas. If they don’t like something they did over 40 years ago, they can just think, “That’s not me, that’s HIM! “ Or, they can say, “Isn’t he terrific,” without any ego showing.

So what do I think when I see that young guy on the screen?

Lloyd (after and before) with Petula Clark and Joe Smith, then V.P. Warner Bros Records

Actually, I think he's quite handsome!

Writing in the third person, ALSO has its advantages.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thaxton,

You may be the most profound blog writer in America.


4:25 PM

Blogger Gary said...

I agree with "anonymous"!
Now, with me it's actually different. We took a lot of silent home movies when I was younger, and I remember when a LOT of it was shot. I catch myself saying "Look at what I am doing" or "I know exactly what I was saying there" or "What a nice little boy I was". It's definitely not "who is that up there".....HOWEVER I do see your point in this, Uncle Lloyd. When I talk to some of my favorite performers nowadays, many of them actually do talk about their "old performing" selves in the third person. I never understood it at first, but the more I talked to them and asked about "the good old days", I started to understand where they were coming from, because it is that YOUNGER performer I am asking about, and they answer like they are answering for somebody else, not for this making any sense? I hope so because Gary is confused right now, so he will now say........NEXT!!

4:57 PM

Blogger mike847 said...

I hope the DVD doesn't become too sanitized. I'd love to see what went on just before and just after the bit. It'll bring back memories of LIVE TV.

I know the Lloyd Thaxton Show was a highly polished, professional organization, but LIVE TV was special back then there might be things that happened that would make the DVD(s) extra special.

By the way, I pluralized DVD because I hope that you have too much material and feel the need to offer the fans a multi-disc showcase.

As for talking about yourself in the third person, you should be asking "Why weren't we ever nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award?"

I'm looking forward to the DVD(s) when they are released.

Take care.


6:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr thaxton - any memories of hosting NINA SIMONE - in the fall of 1965 -- she was out in LA at the Troubadour for two weeks - she was on with the Sunrays - would love to hear about it for a nina simone project -

9:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To my Anonymouse cliguer:

I like that, "profound blog writer." Makes me feel intelligent.

To Gary: You are not confused. It is I, the "profound" one, who is confused.

To Mike847 (very unusual name):

The DVD will not be sanitized.It will have all the introductions and great bits. You'll like it.

Hopefully, there will be more than one LT DVD. That will depend on just how well the first one is received.

As to the Emmys, when my LT show was on, the Emmys did not have a catagory for syndicated shows like mine.

We did win Emmys for "Fight Back."

Hopefully, there will be more than one LT DVD. That will depend on just how well the first one is received.

To Anonomouse 2: Don't recall the
Nina Simone gig. After 40 years the memory fades. Even the good ones.

12:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thaxton,

I remember watching The Lloyd Thaxton Hop with my grandmother when I was four or five years old. I remember there was Halabaloo, American Bandstand, and your show came on last on channel 13, (without the big rubber tongue I might add). Your show was the one I couldn't wait to see. You always had the best talent, and hey, your guests were good too. (grin)

Thanks for all those fine memories of my childhood, and for being a part of the last quality time spent with Cherry, my grandmother.

Kindest regards,

Chris Reddy
P.S. Where are the videos??
Can't find any on the web.

10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lloyd,

It's great to read your blog comments. I'm 49 years old and living in Scottsdale, Arizona now. I remember watching the "Lloyd Thaxton Show" back in 1965 when I was 7 years old in Chicago. I thought it was really great and had a personality all it's own. I wished that I was old enough to go to LA and appear on the show. I tried to make my own version of the musical note backdrops you used on the dancefloor.

I'm really looking forward to the DVD and the chance to revisit to another time in my life and enjoy a great show.

Best regards,

Glenn Lezon

12:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thaxton:

I love your blog! Great pictures. Thanks so much for stopping by my Willie Nelson site, and the cool comments about Willie Nelson and Jazz.

I gotta link to you. Thanks.

8:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lloyd,
I was one of the group from Long Beach that enjoyed dancing on your show all those years ago. We would pile into a few cars and head up to Channel 13, dance, laugh and head for the burger shop. I even won a pair of shoes! What great memories for all of us to have for more than 40 years!Can't wait for the DVD!

5:07 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home