With another American comic institution doing the narrating, this TV show is a tribute to the man who probably was the most loved entertainer of his day Will Rogers. Bob Hope narrates the story of Rogers who when he began his vaudeville career was billed as the Cherokee Kid in tribute to his Indian ancestry. Rogers was about 3/8 Cherokee and something he was proud of.
Not that the Cherokees were always proud of him. His parents were prosperous ranchers and his father a noted tribal official in Oklahoma when it was a territory. Like every dad he wanted his kid to amount to something, but young Will just loved the cowboy life. He caught on with one of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show competitors Texas Jack and from then to vaudeville and then the Ziegfeld Follies with a lariat spinning act.
But Will could do more than spin a rope. He was a shrewd observer of events he saw or read about. In one of his most quoted lines "all he knew was what he read in the paper". From the daily headlines between rope tricks he'd do a monologue of the day's events. From World War I until his death in 1935 there wasn't an event or prominent person that didn't get to be the subject of Will's wit. It was a gentle wit from a man who was always self deprecating.
Will Rogers is one of my favorite characters from our American culture. I can only imagine what he would do with the current incoming administration. I imagine Donald Trump would put Rogers to the test of his other most quoted aphorism, "I never met a man I didn't like". So few prominent people then and now try to see the good in all of us.
Everyone should get acquainted with the wit and wisdom of Will Rogers.
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