Thursday, October 16, 2008


Kids Say the Darndest Things!, by Art Linkletter, is a collection of highlights from his talk show House Party. It was originally published in 1957. It is illustrated by Charles Schultz (of Peanuts fame), and originally featured an introduction by Walt Disney (later releases have an introduction by Bill Cosby, who hosted a second incarnation of Kids the Darndest Things! and did a poor job).

In a popular segment on Linkletter’s program House Party, he would interview small children, who often gave hilarious responses to (mostly) innocent questions. In this book, Linkletter presents some of his favorite moments from the show, and talks about some of the program’s background, including how the children were selected.

Although it loses something in its transfer to print, nearly everything in this book ranges from the amusing to the hilarious. Only the last chapter, a collection of stories that didn’t happen on the show (and mostly aren’t true), disappoints. These are stories marketed as real things children did but actually written by adults trying (and failing) to be clever. On the whole, they come off as annoying. Stories like these still make the rounds on email, and they still aren’t funny or credible.
On the whole, Kids Say the Darndest Things! is a funny, funny book.