Jack Paar Poster


Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (5)

Born in Canton, Ohio, USA
Died in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameJack Harold Paar
Nickname The Boss
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Became host of the Tonight Show in 1957 and quickly view very popular with viewers. So popular, in fact, that the show was renamed "The Jack Paar Show" after only one year of hosting. Paar's trademark was his great ability to engage in conversation with guests that went above and beyond the generic "chat" that other hosts never rose above. He was very emotional and was known to weep on camera at times. Once he walked off the show in a huff when the network censored a joke he made referring to a "water closet". On his program he developed a regular roster of favorite guests including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cliff Arquette, Genevieve, Hans Conreid, Hermoine Gingold, Genevieve, and Dody Goodman. After five years of hosting, he tired of the routine and switched to a weekly NBC variety series in 1962 that flopped. He next purchased a television station in Poland Springs, Maine, and sold it several years later. In 1973 he signed with ABC to compete with his NBC successor, Johnny Carson, on a limited schedule of one week a month, but failed to garner the acclaim he was once famous for.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Keath <Keath@webtv.net>

Spouse (2)

Miriam Paar (9 October 1943 - 27 January 2004) (his death) (1 child)
Irene Gubbins (22 August 1940 - 1941) (divorced)

Trivia (13)

At the beginning of a live commercial for a sponsor's cigarette, Paar took a drag off the cigarette, exhaled a plume of smoke, faced the camera and said "Man, that's great coffee."
One of his first TV hosting jobs was on the game show Up to Paar (1952). Around the same time, he had a minor role as Marilyn Monroe's boyfriend in Love Nest (1951), one of her early films.
His TV late-night show helped ignite the careers of Carol Burnett, Woody Allen and Liza Minnelli. He also made solid enemies of columnists Dorothy Kilgallen and Walter Winchell.
An intelligent, prodding host during his heyday, he sparked international incidents after interviewing Fidel Castro in Cuba and doing his show from Berlin as the wall went up. On the positive side, he scored very well with his audiences and the behind-the-scenes executives discussing religion with Billy Graham, visiting Albert Schweitzer in Africa and for his political bantering with Richard Nixon.
In 1998 he underwent triple heart bypass surgery, complicated by an embolism discovered during the operation. In March of 2003 he suffered a mild stroke.
Started off in broadcasting as a radio announcer in Cleveland and the Midwest. During World War II he entertained troops in the South Pacific with his parodies of military brass, but didn't become a radio star until the post-war years as a summer replacement on Jack Benny's radio show.
He and his wife, Miriam, had a daughter named Randy.
In 1960 he abruptly quit the show four minutes into programming after discovering that a joke of his that included the words "WC", meaning water closet (a polite term for a flush toilet) had been censored. As he left his desk, he said, "I am leaving [The Jack Paar Tonight Show (1957)]. There must be a better way of making a living than this." Several weeks later, after a formal apology from the NBC network executives, he triumphantly returned to a standing ovation from the audience. The first words he spoke were, "As I was saying before I was interrupted . . . ".
Popularized the phrase "I kid you not . . ." with which he regularly certified his flow of self-revealing stories as host of The Jack Paar Tonight Show (1957).
Cured himself of a stutter by putting buttons in his mouth and reading aloud.
He suffered from tuberculosis as a child and later worked on a railroad gang to build himself up.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 409-411. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Has one grandson.

Personal Quotes (10)

It's almost impossible to dislike me because I do nothing.
I'm complicated, sentimental, lovable, honest, loyal, decent, generous, likable, and lonely. My personality is not split, it's shredded.
My life seems like one big obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle.
I kid you not . . .
Everyone thinks Ed Sullivan discovered The Beatles. That's not true. I had them on before he did. I did it because I thought they were funny, not because I liked the music. I'm a Muzak kind of guy . . . my home's like living in an elevator.
[after returning from having walked off The Jack Paar Tonight Show (1957)] As I was saying before I was interrupted . . .
I hate my emotion. Knock it off, I tell myself, but I just can't help it.
[in 1960, just before his on-air walking off The Jack Paar Tonight Show (1957) when he discovered that NBC executives had censored his monologue] There must be a better way to earn a living than this.
[on Steve Allen] I'm fond of Steve Allen, but not so much as he is.
[introducing his favorite comedian] If you were to ask me the funniest 25 people I've ever known, I'd say, "Here they are--Jonathan Winters".

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page