Salvador Dali Gets Surreal with Mike Wallace (1958)

Before he became a fixture on 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace hosted his own short-lived TV show, The Mike Wallace Interview (1957-58), which let Americans get an up-close and personal view of some legendary figures – Frank Lloyd WrightEleanor RooseveltReinhold NiebuhrAldous HuxleyErich FrommAdlai StevensonHenry Kissinger, and Gloria Swanson.

Then let’s also add Salvador Dali to the list. In 1958, Wallace tried to demystify “the enigma that is Salvador Dali,” and it didn’t go terribly well. It turns out that surrealist painters give surreal answers to conventional interview questions too. Pretty quickly, Wallace capitulates and says, “I must confess, you lost me halfway through.” Happily for us, the video makes for some good viewing more than 50 years later.

Part 1 appears above; and Part 2 continues here.

Related Salvador Dali Content:

Destino: The Salvador Dalí – Disney Collaboration 57 Years in the Making

Salvador Dali Appears on “What’s My Line? in 1952

Alfred Hitchcock Recalls Working with Salvador Dali on Spellbound


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  1. Nathan says . . . | September 29, 2011 / 1:48 pm

    This is most interesting in Part 1 (which was linked) to see Mike Wallace tell us how great the cigarettes he is smoking are. That part is such a great blast from the past and a great history lesson. Dali just comes off as a clown in these interviews. Today, I’d say he’s trying too hard to be different or “too cool for the room”.

  2. Christian Hege says . . . | September 29, 2011 / 8:05 pm

    Dali’s groping through English words (cosmogeny?) and Mike Wallace’s struggle to understand him made me think immediately of the brilliant work of John Sperm:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjjivs22Btk

  3. Cristina Milos says . . . | January 24, 2012 / 1:58 am

    It is a delight to see how a typical journalist struggles to penetrate a brilliant mind and how superbly he fails.
    Geniuses truly think different and show that in all aspects of ttheir outer and inner lives.
    Thank you!

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