Art Linkletter

Art Linkletter, born Gordon Arthur Kelly, radio and television host, author (b at Moose Jaw, Sask 17 Jul 1912, d at Los Angeles 26 May 2010). Art Linkletter was adopted as an infant by a travelling evangelical preacher and his wife.

Art Linkletter

Art Linkletter, born Gordon Arthur Kelly, radio and television host, author (b at Moose Jaw, Sask 17 Jul 1912, d at Los Angeles 26 May 2010). Art Linkletter was adopted as an infant by a travelling evangelical preacher and his wife. The family crisscrossed Canada and the US, landing in San Diego, California, when Linkletter was 6 years old. As a teenager, he "rode the rails" and worked in a variety of part-time jobs until he ended up back in California, where he enrolled in San Diego State Teachers College. By the time he graduated with a degree in English and education in 1934, Linkletter was an announcer on a local radio station.

He worked as a radio program manager in Dallas, then in San Francisco, and became a specialist in broadcasting special events. Linkletter began broadcasting his Art Linkletter's House Party on radio in 1945 and, with the advent of television, made a smooth transition to the new medium. His easy manner and relaxed style made House Party a staple of the CBS weekday lineup from 1952 to 1970. One of the most popular segments was "Kids Say the Darnedest Things," in which Linkletter talked with youngsters about various topics. In 1957 and 1958 Linkletter's spinoff book, Kids Say the Darnedest Things, was a national bestseller, and it remains one of the top-selling books in US publishing history.

From 1950 to 1952 he hosted Life with Linkletter, a prime-time version of House Party, on ABC, and from 1954 to 1961 he hosted the primetime show People Are Funny on NBC. In 1998 Bill Cosby hosted Kids Say the Darnedest Things on primetime on CBS for 2 seasons with contributions from Linkletter and clips featuring his original interviews from House Party. One of the most popular personalities on American television during his long career, Art Linkletter received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy Award in 2003. He was a tireless crusader against drug abuse among young people.


Further Reading

  • Art Linkletter, Confessions of a Happy Man (1960).