70s Moments: Paul Lynde, ‘Hating Hollywood’ (1976)

Paul Lynde in a Kaftan! ('People' magazine, 1976)

Paul Lynde in a Kaftan! (‘People’ magazine, 1976)

“Hollywood Squares’ Paul Lynde Feels Like a Round Peg in TV’s Square Hole”

Cranking back the dial to September, 1976, we find this People magazine cover story on Paul Lynde. Mr. Lynde, famed actor and comedian, does not like the successful but unhappy place he finds himself in Hollywood. Read on.

“He’s the hottest sketch comic on TV—averaging some 200 hours a year of panel and variety shots. Yet Paul maintains that he has come to hate Hollywood as much as the Squares. At the same time, he feels thwarted that he’s not, after ‘eleven bad films,’ a movie star. As a result, despite his manically comic public persona, life for Lynde, at 50, is a relentless struggle to control his weight, his whiskey and his bitterness.

Paul_Lynde_People_Magazine_9_13_76This summer his manager coaxed him for the first time ever into playing himself on tour rather than in a book show. Despite trepidations, he wrote a quintessential evening with Paul Lynde, prancing through numerous costume changes, including caftans that made him look like Lawrence of Fire Island. (‘Someday I’m going to go onstage in a dress if I want to.’) He belted out such songs as his signature Kids, from his Broadway and Hollywood smash Bye Bye Birdie. Afterward Lynde patiently greeted queues of fans, individually. It’s a measure of Paul’s popularity that these sessions often lasted longer than his two-hour show.”

You can read the full article and enjoy a few more photos at the People archives.

Previously on 70s Moments: Rodney Dangerfield On ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ (1970)

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