On February 11, 1960, Jack Paar famously walked off his show for a month at NBC. Paar abruptly quit The Tonight Show four minutes into programming after discovering that a joke of his that included the letters “W.C.”, meaning “water closet” (a polite term for a flush toilet) had been censored. As he left his desk he said, “I am leaving The Tonight Show. There must be a better way than this to make a living.”
Paar returned to the show on March 7, 1960, strolled onstage, struck a pose and looked right into the camera. “As I was saying”, he said “before I was interrupted.” Of course, the audience erupted in applause.
He continued, “When I walked off I said there must be a better way to make a living. Well, I’ve looked and there isn’t. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like Radio City. Leaving the show was a childish and perhaps emotional thing. I have been guilty of such action in the past and will perhaps be again. I’m totally unable to hide what I feel. It is not an asset in show business but I shall do the best I can to amuse and entertain you and let other people speak freely, as I have in the past. Any who are maligned will find this show a place to come and tell their story. There will be a rock in every snowball and I plan to continue exactly what I started out to do. I hope you will find it interesting.”
Jack Paar hosted The Tonight Show from 1957-1962. He took over the show from Steve Allen and then passed the comedic torch to newcomer Johnny Carson. At the time, Paar was called “The King of Late Night TV”. When Johnny Carson became host, he humbly settled for being called “The Prince of Late Night TV”. Paar retired in 1965. When asked why he didn’t do more television, he replied “I’ve said everything I want to say and meteveryone I want to meet. Why hang around?” His trademark catchphrase was “I kid you not!”
As a teenager I remember coming across a book on one of the shelves in our living room called “I Kid You Not“; the author was Jack Paar. The infamous W.C. joke was in that book. Even as a teenager I roared with uncontrollable laughter as I read it, tears streaming down my face. I hope you will find the joke as funny as I did. Have some tissues ready for those tears of laughter!
THE HARMLESS W.C. JOKE THAT CAUSED ALL THAT TROUBLE
An English lady, while visiting Switzerland, was looking for a room for a more extended stay and she asked the schoolmaster if he could recommend any to her. He took her to see several rooms and when everything was settled the lady returned to her home to make the final preparations to move.
When she arrived home, the thought suddenly occurred to her that she had not seen a W.C. around the place. She immediately wrote a note to the schoolmaster asking him if there was a W.C. near the room.
The schoolmaster was a very poor student of English so he asked the parish priest if he could help in the matter. Together they tried to discover the meaning of the letters W.C. and the only solution they could come up with was the Wayside Chapel. The schoolmaster then wrote the following note to the English lady:
Dear Madam: I take great pleasure in informing you that the W.C. is situated nine miles from the room that you will occupy in the center of a beautiful grove of pine trees surrounded by lovely grounds. It is capable of holding about 230 people and it is only open on Sunday and Thursday. As there are a great number of people who are expected during the summer months, I would suggest that you come early although, as a rule, there is plenty of standing room. You will no doubt be glad to hear that a good number of people bring their lunch and makea day of it, while others who can afford to go by car arrive just in time.I would especially recommend that your ladyship go on Thursday when there is musical accompaniment. Itmay interest you to know that my daughter was married in the W.C. and it was there that she met her husband.I can remember the rush there was for seats. There were ten people to a seat ordinarily occupied by one. It was incredible to see theexpressions on their faces. The newest attraction is a bell donated by a wealthy resident of the district. It rings every time a person enters. A bazaar is to be held to provide plush seats for all the people since theybelieve it is a long-felt need. My wife is rather delicate and has trouble attending regularly. I shall be delighted to reserve the best seat for you, if you wish, where you will be seen by everyone.For the children there is a special time and place so they will not disturb the elders. Hoping to have been of service to you, I remain, Sincerely, The Schoolmaster
Dangerous was too tame a word to describe Lyle Benson; no, he was treacherous, savage, vicious and murderous – but you’d never know by looking at him.
Lyle was one of those men blessed with movie star good looks and a silver tongue which the ladies found charming and irresistible. He also had a photographic memory and had acquired a broad knowledge covering many different topics. He was what women called ‘a keeper’; problem was any lady who hooked up with Lyle Benson was never seen again.
Just a flunkey, Lyle learned the tricks of the trade by working for crime lord George “Bugs” Moran, Al Capone’s primary rival. Moran was so sadistic he once kidnapped and mutilated a bodyguard of Capone’s, then mailed back what little was left.
Watching Moran in action always got Lyle’s engine revving. In a salacious frenzy, he’d hunt down some sweet innocent. He’d impress her with his wit and savoir faire. Lyle would tell her he was a doctor, his black bag always by his side. He’d wine and dine her, then drive to his secluded cabin where he’d unhurriedly butcher her until she pleaded for death. Only then as she gasped her last breath could the butcher boy get an erection. Only then could he have an orgasm.
But Lyle also had a compassionate side. He’d regularly send flowers to his catatonic mother and sister, residents in a Canadian asylum. He never could bring himself to kill them but a boy had to start somewhere.