Salvador Dali Gets Surreal with Mike Wallace (RIP) in 1958

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 WrightEleanor Roo­seveltRein­hold NiebuhrAldous Hux­leyErich FrommAdlai Steven­sonHen­ry 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.

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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  • Dave says:

    The ante­dote about Mrs. Nixon and Mike Wal­lace epit­o­mizes the dif­fer­ence between him and the rest of his col­leagues. He knew when to ask the ques­tion and when to just do what was right. May he RIP.

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