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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Art of laughter
Linkletter, at 94, works his magic with the audience at the Nixon Library.
The Orange County Register

YORBA LINDA – The audience erupted in laughter as Art Linkletter, 94, told stories of an earlier era.

"Each morning, if you want to give yourself a laugh, get out of bed, go in front of a mirror and take off your nightgown," Linkletter told the crowd.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people packed the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace auditorium to listen to anecdotes from Linkletter, who hosted the long-running family television show "House Party."

He stopped by to promote his newest book, "How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life," which was released in July.

The book talks about making the most of one's later years.

One piece of advice – laugh.

Linkletter made sure that happened Tuesday.

You know you're getting old "when someone compliments your new 'gator shoes and you're barefoot," Linkletter said.

His audience, mostly senior citizens, howled.

"It was absolutely marvelous; it takes me back," said Mary Hill, 83, of Fullerton who joined friend Frieda Fluck, 88, for the program and book signing. "It makes me feel good."

Jan Charles Gray, 59, a radio station owner who appeared on Linkletter's show in 1954, flew from Custer, S.D., to see Linkletter and conduct business.

"Everyone should try to find out what his secret is and bottle it up," Gray said.

On his show, Linkletter would ask children questions and get funny responses.

Linkletter is the second to make an appearance at the Richard Nixon Library's "In Conversation" program. The new series brings in noted speakers and entertainers to give library guests perspective about the 1960s and 1970s.

Sue McDougall, 67, of Yorba Linda pulled out her scrapbook. She had kept the original paperwork telling her she would be on the show in 1945.

"He is so witty, he hasn't lost a thing," said McDougall after she and her husband, Mac, 69, got their books signed.

Contact the writer: 714-704-3795 or

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