This weekend, Mike Wallace died at the age of 93. As The New York Times observes in its obit, Wallace was “a pioneer of American broadcasting who confronted leaders and liars for 60 Minutes over four decades.” But before he became a fixture on 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace hosted his own short-lived TV show in the late 1950s, The Mike Wallace Interview, which let Americans get an up-close and personal view of some legendary figures – Frank Lloyd Wright, Eleanor Roosevelt, Reinhold Niebuhr, Aldous Huxley, Erich Fromm, Adlai Stevenson, Henry Kissinger, Ayn Rand and Gloria Swanson.
Above, we’re bringing back Mike Wallace’s memorable interview with Salvador Dali in 1958. For the better part of a half hour, 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.
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