News and Events
Friend, Regent, Iconic Entertainer Art Linkletter Dies
Art Linkletter, a much loved and admired figure within the Pepperdine community for nearly four decades, passed away May 26. One of America's most beloved radio and TV personalities, he was the tremendously popular host of radio's Art Linkletter's House Party and TV shows People Are Funny and Kids Say the Darndest Things. He was 97.
Linkletter joined Pepperdine's Board of Regents in 1984, was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1978 and joined fellow comedian Bill Cosby in presenting the 1998 Seaver College commencement address.
"The University community mourns the passing of Art Linkletter, one of our nation's greatest entertainers," said Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton. "Art and his wife Lois have been among Pepperdine's closest and dearest friends, and they've demonstrated a love for our students and this University that is powerful and enduring. He will be missed greatly."
Linkletter's radio career began in San Diego. In 1944 he created and began hosting Art Linkletter’s House Party, a daytime CBS radio show. The program made the move to the fast-evolving medium of television, and was a fixture in American households from 1952 to 1969.
His radio show, People Are Funny, began in 1942 and also moved to TV, running on NBC from 1954 to 1961. The format where everyday guests were interviewed by Linkletter attracted some of the highest audiences at the time. Linkletter also hosted a short-lived quiz show, The Art Linkletter Show, in 1963.
Of all his fame with TV audiences, his popularity reached its zenith with Kids Say the Darndest Things, which began as a segment on House Party. The congenial and charming host asked children their thoughts on various topics and a compilation of their often hilarious answers eventually became a best-selling book.
His 1960 biography was appropriately called Confessions of a Happy Man.