|Susan's Finest Hour and the Wayward Tape Recorder
|As a longtime fan of Susan Hayward, I was thrilled when I found out she was going to make a rare live TV appearance on the Joey Bishop show. To commemorate the event for posterity, I set up my trusty Wollensack reel-to-reel tape recorder and loaded my Polaroid camera to take photos off the TV screen.
Before the show started, I did test runs of the system, making sure the sound quality was up to par. Then I pushed the pause button during a commerical and excitedly waited for the show to begin. When Susan was announced and Joey started to talk to her, I became transfixed. At the commerical break, I reached for the pause button on the tape recorder, only to realize with horror that I had not pushed it back on after the initial commercial had ended. I had missed the entire first half of the show! Heartsick, I consoled myself with the fact that at least I would be able to tape the second portion of the show where Joey conducted a question-and-answer session with the audience and presented Susan with a photo album.
In a way, the last portion of the show may be more enlightening than the first. At least I like to think so. To hear Susan interact with Joey and the studio audience
while speaking "off the cuff" was a big thrill. Remember, those were the days before the 24-hour entertainment shows documented a star's every move.
Hearing Susan speak in her own words was a revelation. More importantly, her inflections said more than the words she spoke. When she mistakenly thought an audience member asked her what her "philosophy of love" was, Susan's "hmmm," said volumes. I often wished Joey had not corrected the woman's question. It is tantalizing to think how Susan would have responded. Many of Susan's answers revealed an actress maintaining her poise, not wanting to say more for fear of saying too much. (Why else would she asked Joey, "Do I have to answer truthfully?") Or witness her response to "What makes you so happy?"
In a deep voice, Susan says, "Life has been good to me, so why should I be unhappy." The ironic tone seemed to belie her words.
As an ardent fan, I always saw lurking beneath that sometimes cold exterior, an imp waiting to cut loose, and she did not disappoint. With Joey's teasing to loosen her up, Susan revealed a playful side as she viewed the photo album he had put together. She appeared to genuinely enjoy kidding with Joey and Regis.
Even though I "goofed up" on the first part of the show, I am grateful for what remains. And I am pleased to share it with all of Susan's fans, now and in the future. After 33 years, the tape sounds as if it were recorded yesterday, preserving the memory of a superb actress who took glee in being called a "hooligan" from Brooklyn.
|The Joey Bishop Show/Susan Hayward As Guest/Transcript|
|Back To Susan Hayward Classic Film Star|