Sunday, June 3, 2012

Richard Dawson

 I saw in the news that Richard Dawson died yesterday. I was reminded of my one near encounter with the legendary host of FAMILY FEUD …

     A (large) number of years ago I was employed as the Film Director for a medium sized television station. Since it was a national election year, it became my job to contact all the producers of the syndicated programs we aired, asking them to please have their on-air people refrain from mentioning the names of any candidates running (or else we would have to offer equal time to every OTHER candidate.)

      And no, when I called I did not speak directly to the outspoken former actor. Nor, for that matter did I speak to the show’s actual producer. I spoke to one of the “staff,” who promised to deliver my request when the recipient was in a good mood.

      Now, lest I paint a disparaging picture here, I had no reason to believe then, nor now, that Richard Dawson was ever in less than a good mood. What I DID believe, however, was that my contact person was far enough down the food chain that he didn’t carry any influential weight at all.

      And this appeared to have proved true. After a week (and a number of phone calls on my part), I received my answer.

      “Mister Dawson feels,” came the slow response, “that the show is a success based in large part to his off-the-cuff remarks. So …”

      I waited for what I then knew was coming.

      “So Mister Dawson will say whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and there is nothing you can do about it. Thank you very much for your interest in FAMILY FEUD.”

      There was a pronounced click, followed by a dial tone.

      And so, gentle reader, there is a real moral to this story, and here it is. You may have great power and authority, and you may singularly influence millions of people. But don’t mess with the little guy sitting in a dark four by four work room who has one of these.

      So Richard Dawson did his thing …

      And I did mine …

      And we both lived happily ever after. Until yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, I was in love with Richard Dawson. I think it was the accent. Or maybe the fact that he was on Hogan's Heroes.
I dunno.
Wasn't fond of the Feud.
I wasn't a lover of game shows. I remember thinking, really? You went from WWII to game shows?
.... then there was Elton John...


Views from Malmesbury said...

I was wondering who Richard Dawson was. He sounds rather pompous but wow, Hogan's Heroes, I loved that program, although my favorites were Hogan and Schultz. Other than that 'I know nothing'!