That sounds like something a blogger might say, but it was Art Linkletter, speaking in 1965, back when he was one of the most familiar faces on television. He died yesterday at the age of 97.
I remember watching him when I was a kid. He had kids on his show.
Being a kid, I was very interested in... how do I get on that show?
Later, young people my age turned against him. It had to do with this:
In 1969 Mr. Linkletter’s daughter Diane leapt to her death from her sixth-story apartment. Her father said that LSD had contributed to her death, and although an autopsy showed no signs of the drug in her body, the personal tragedy became a national event, suggesting to many Americans that drugs and the counterculture were making inroads even into seemingly model families like the Linkletters.Oh, how we callow youths mocked the poor man who, having lost his daughter, wanted to spoil our good times. LSD became associated with the urge to leap from windows and rooftops — an idea that many took seriously but many others — e.g., everyone I knew — thought was hilarious. Some of us seem to remember a National Lampoon illustration picturing the daughter at her window gazing at a hallucination of Art Linkletter floating in the air and beckoning to her. I hope we won't go to hell for laughing at things like that.
Mr. Linkletter, rather than retreating from the attention, became a crusader against drug use and an adviser to President Richard M. Nixon on drug policy...
Meanwhile, in heaven, there's "gold and diamonds." That's from the first kid interview in the YouTube clip above. Art asks little Roger Wong — a kid who wants to be a doctor — what heaven is like, and the kid says "gold and diamonds." Art suggests that, as a doctor, the boy will "keep people from going to heaven," which the boy takes the wrong way and denies. Art has to rephrase it: "I mean, you're just going to delay them a little, aren't you?"
Strangely, the same joke — that saving lives is only delaying death — appears in the current issue of The Onion. Humor is a funny thing. Sometimes cornball and hip merge, like that, and sometimes they are so thoroughly different — as with that beckoning hallucination — that it drives a sharp wedge between us.