Video: Young punk makes mistake of pulling a gun on Reagan

posted at 4:13 pm on April 20, 2010 by Allahpundit

Not just any young punk, though, as you’ll see. This is pure cultural gold, mined by a friend of The Atlantic and pared down to a handy six minutes from its original run time for your viewing pleasure. The easy historical analogy is the Nixon/Elvis meeting, but it’s not the same at all. Nixon/Elvis is memorable because of the distinct freak-show aspect of it: The king of rock ‘n roll together with a famously stiff law-and-order president, both on the precipice of grotesque decline caused by their respective pathologies. This clip, though, captures both participants on the eve of spectacular upward spirals, one long and the other short. And each in his own way ended up as a rebel, albeit one without a cause and the other very much with one.

The storyline is velveeta but it’s fun watching Dean play a character that feels like Jim Stark gone bad. The contrast in styles is fun, too: Reagan is the traditional Hollywood leading man while Dean is naturalistic (to the point of being over the top), but watch as the Gipper turns it on during the fight scene. No wonder the Soviets backed down.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Pelayo on April 20, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Desi Arnaz and his Karl Freund revolutionized TV production when I Love Lucy began in 1951. The show was shot on film.

At this time, most television programs were broadcast live, and as the largest markets were in New York, the rest of the country received only kinescope images. Karl Freund, Arnaz’s cameraman, developed the multiple-camera setup production style using adjacent sets that became the standard for all subsequent situation comedies to this day. The use of film enabled every station around the country to broadcast high-quality images of the show. Arnaz was told that it would be impossible to allow an audience onto a sound stage, but he worked with Freund to design a set that would accommodate an audience, allow filming, and also adhere to fire and safety codes.

Network executives considered the use of film an unnecessary extravagance. Arnaz convinced them to allow Desilu to cover all additional costs associated with the filming process, under the stipulation that Desilu owned and controlled all rights to the film. Arnaz’s unprecedented arrangement is widely considered to be one of the shrewdest deals in television history. As a result of his foresight, Desilu reaped the profits from all reruns of the series.

INC on April 20, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Yah, that Reagan. He’s only an actor!

victor82 on April 21, 2010 at 12:28 AM

The scene has been edited from the original.

Wayne Federman, a writer for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, unearthed the broadcast, condensing it from its original 23 minutes (without commercials) into the six-minute version you see below. (Federman is planning a retrospective of Reagan’s television career for next year’s Reagan centennial.)

Ok, here’s something to make you all vomit. When the Reagan Centennial stuff starts showing up, we’re going to be yet another speech by TOTUS praising Ronaldus Maximus.

john bono on April 21, 2010 at 1:12 AM

“No, no, no, no. You’ve got it all wrong. Jimmy Stewart for governor, Ronald Reagan for best friend.”–Jack Warner, hearing that Reagan was running for governor of California, 1966

Not only is the Obama/Dean character forcing the doctors to work for free, there’s no Doctor Fix included. And he’s interfering with the doctor/patient relationship, telling him how to practice medicine.

Bill Ayers for biographer, Barack Obama for best organizer in a fictional presidency.

Noel on April 21, 2010 at 7:07 AM

I’d love the see the whole 23-minute episode. Any chance those GE Theatre kinescopes are going to be released on DVD?

MrLynn on April 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Comment pages: 1 2