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 Wright, Eleanor Roosevelt, Reinhold Niebuhr, Aldous Huxley, Erich Fromm, Adlai Stevenson, Henry 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.
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