Today in the archives I stumbled across a letter from Hugh Hefner to Birch Bayh saying that he would be glad to help out in Bayh's 1976 Presidential campaign. And one from Gregory Peck saying that he couldn't support him yet...apparently he was more of a Humphrey man. Crazy stuff, right? What I'm wondering is why Bayh would want Hefner's help in the first place. I don't think any politicians would want his endorsement today.
There were also letters to/from other actors...like Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford. Reading these made me wonder -- why don't men look like these guys anymore? Or act like them? Where are the Cary Grants, Jimmy Stewarts, and especially Paul Newmans* of today?
All of this thinking** about politicians and actors brought Saturday Night Live to mind. If I was a history teacher (which I don't think I ever will be, but I haven't exactly ruled it out), I would totally use political sketches from Saturday Night Live in my classes. Not only are they hilarious, but they tell you so much about what people were thinking at the time. How they perceived certain actions and events. How they choose to remember things. It would be awesome. I'll keep it in mind when I'm teaching about the 1990s one day.
* I love(d) Paul Newman. I even loved him in the movie, Cars...and that's just his voice. Maybe it's his ruggedness. Or his political activism. Or his salad dressing. I don't know what it is. But today's actors can't even come close.
**After 3 months of graduate school, I'm still amazed at the fact that I still maintain the capacity to think about such random things, let alone think at all.