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May 3, 2020 12:32 pm

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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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May 3, 2020 12:32 pm

Rita Braver examines how scientists won the war against the 20th century polio epidemic. Seth Doane interviews survivors of coronavirus. Jane Pauley talks with Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, about their book that explores the secrets behind successful marriages. Tracy Smith chats with “Barry” and “Happy Days” star Henry Winkler. Jill Schlesinger examines retail winners and losers from the pandemic. Those stories and more on "CBS Sunday Morning."

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Learn more at Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning, introduced this morning by Deborah Martin of Lebanon, Tennessee on the piccolo trumpet. The COVID-19 pandemic has now spilled into May with no let up in its medical and economic fallout. We'll begin with a look at parallels between this outbreak and an earlier epidemic. Parallels that have Americans with long memories thinking we've been here before.

Rita Braver reports our cover story. Long before COVID-19, there was another virus that terrified Americans. What were your symptoms? High temperature, pain, headaches. About five days into it, I was delirious. I couldn't stand up.

Ahead on Sunday morning, what we can learn from the race to conquer polio. Actor Henry Winkler has come a long way since those happy days as the Fonz. And in these strangest of times, he'll be telling his story through the window to our Tracy Smith. I hope this doesn't disappoint, but Henry Winkler at home doesn't dress like the Fonz. So this isn't just for us you wouldn't normally be in your pajamas?

I might. Later on Sunday morning, a visit with Henry Winkler. Some old familiar products figure into this time of the new normal. We'll go food shopping with Mo Rocca. What's the word on bologna? We have seen the sandwich meats, bologna is no exception, really pick up. They're the foods we reach for when we want to feel safe. Bananas, very ripe bananas, are another thing that make us feel like, you know, it just makes you feel really cozy.

So I could totally imagine a peanut butter and banana sandwich fried or not as like a go-to thing. Comfort foods ahead on Sunday morning. I'll be talking about marriage and other matters with Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas. Seth Doan introduces us to some fellow survivors of COVID-19 on this Sunday morning, May 3rd, 2020.

We'll be right back. The COVID-19 pandemic is triggering some familiar feelings among Americans of a certain age. They've been here before.

Our cover story is reported by Rita Braver. Sorrow. Fear. Hospitals overwhelmed.

Closures. All due to the deadly coronavirus and all hallmarks of another deadly and mysterious virus that terrified Americans starting at the turn of the 20th century. Polio. One huge outbreak in New York City, June 19th. The coronavirus in New York City, June 1916. Panic soon begins.

Those who can pack their bags and prepare to leave town. Thousands hurried toward the piers and railroad stations. As Walter Cronkite recounted in this 1958 CBS News broadcast, that was just the beginning. After World War II, polio became an ever greater national threat. The three year statistics run 50,000 polio cases, 103,000 cases, 122,000 cases.

Where will it end? What were your symptoms? High temperature, pain, headaches. I could not move.

I couldn't stand up. Joanne Jaeger was a healthy 14-year-old in Denver when she got polio in the summer of 1951. She would spend three months in the hospital before the disease started to retreat as mysteriously as it attacked. Like COVID-19, polio had different effects on different people.

It left Jaeger with permanent weakness in her legs. Still, did you ever stop and think, wow, a lot of kids died from polio? Yes, and that was home real quickly because on the same floor that the ward was on were the iron lungs.

Iron lungs were primitive respirators breathing for patients. Like COVID-19, which strikes older adults more frequently, polio had a greater impact on a vulnerable age group. One of the things that tugged at the heartstrings of everyone is that polio for some reason targeted young kids. Carl Kurlander spent 10 years researching and co-producing a documentary about polio.

The fear, my friends, is polio. He says one pivotal adult was left paralyzed from the waist down, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who would later become president. When did Roosevelt contract the virus?

When he was 39 years old. Roosevelt helped launch the organization that came to be called the March of Dimes. Dimes pour into the White House to help the fight. All in an effort to curb this dreaded disease. With polio, there was really no effective treatment, so it was really a sense of helplessness, probably like we're feeling today with coronavirus. The March of Dimes helped fund a groundbreaking effort. This is the place, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This is the man, the director of the virus research laboratory, Dr. Jonas E. Salk. Jonas Salk and his team spent six years working on a vaccine, conducting a huge nationwide trial on 1.8 million children. No one knew whether it was safe, whether it would be effective, but people were so both afraid and believers that they'd volunteer their school kids to be guinea pigs for this new vaccine. But in 1955, one of the greatest triumphs in medical history is achieved.

Success. History is very important to understand. Dr. Paul Dupre, who holds the Jonas Salk chair and heads the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh, says the march of history gives today's scientists an advantage.

We can manipulate. We can alter the genetics, the composition of these viruses in ways that Dr. Salk could only have but dreamed. Jonas Salk, of course, had competition. Dr. Albert Sabin developed an oral vaccine a few years later. Now Dr. Dupre, who's trying to adapt the measles vaccine to combat the coronavirus, is one of scores of researchers around the world, all working toward the same goal. Competition is something which drives innovation, but there's another sea. We need to be collaborative.

And that's not just colleagues in the United States, that's colleagues all over the world. The FDA just approved an emergency treatment for COVID-19, but the greatest hope is for a vaccine. Dupre and his team are already testing theirs on mice. And elsewhere, human trials have begun, several already showing great promise. Do you feel that the public is really behind scientists in the way they were behind those looking for the polio vaccine? I do.

I think it's hard in an instantaneous world that we live in, everything needs to be done yesterday. It's hard to be patient, but I think strong leadership, clarity from scientists, helps the public understand that we are doing our best to defeat this virus. Neither Jonas Salk nor Albert Sabin and their teams personally profited from their discoveries, as Salk explained to CBS's Edward R. Murrow. Who owns the patent on this vaccine? Well, the people, I would say, there is no patent.

This is, could you patent the sun? 65 years later, with polio all but eradicated, it remains to be seen if the creators of a coronavirus vaccine will feel the same way. As for 83-year-old Joanne Yeager, who still lives with the effects of polio. What lessons do you think we can learn if we study the polio epidemic? That we can be survivors of some of these illnesses and we can come out as better people. Historian Carl Kurlander. We've got to have belief in the scientific community. Joni Mitchell and Neil Young had polio, Francis Ford Coppola, Ed Zuck Perlman, and ordinary people.

Once they came through this disease, they were able to really become the best they could be. And I think that we're at our best when we work as a country and as a world to defeat the unseen enemy. What's on the menu during a lockdown? There's the food we think we should be eating. And then there's the food we really want to eat.

We're in the checkout line with Mo Rocca. It doesn't have its own aisle at the supermarket. Let's bake a cake. Let's make some cookies. Treat yourself. It's not one of the five basic food groups. I haven't bought these in so many years. Everybody's snacking more because everybody's at home and bored.

But if it were, right now, it would be the most popular. As everybody tries to navigate this pandemic, people really reach for some things that really just provide some instant comfort. Comfort food.

It means something different to all of us. I don't want to put you on the spot, but have you got any Vienna sausages? We do have Vienna sausages.

We've got plenty of them. Jeffrey Temple is with Portland, Oregon's Fred Meyer Grocery Chain. For his family, comfort food tends towards the spicy, salty snack food variety. So things like, you know, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, Flamin' Hot Funyuns, and, you know, barbecue pringles are essential for my wife.

But for many, comfort food means old, familiar brands. Prego Pasta Sauce, Duncan Hines Cake Mix, and Campbell's and Progresso Soups have all been flying off the shelves. Hello. May I come in?

I am Shabboy Adi. I think my grandfather and my great uncle would be ecstatic to think that their food was bringing comfort to people now in a time of need. Ana Boyardee, grand niece of the Chef Boyardee and her son Jack, aren't surprised that sales of the canned pasta jumped 146 percent compared to this time last year. Note to viewers, do not confuse Chef Boyardee with SpaghettiOs, which are up 38 percent. The brand is 92 years old, so it spans a lot of generations. Including the greatest generation.

During World War II, Chef Boyardee fed U.S. troops. All of those generations have this really positive, warm connection to the brand. This isn't the first time that consumers have turned to shelf-stable, affordable foods in a time of crisis.

During the 2008 recession, sales of Kool-Aid and Kraft macaroni and cheese spiked. American cheese melts in a way, you know, like the way it melts on top of something. There's nothing else like it. That like plasticky quilt of like perfect orange cheese, it's so good.

I've traveled the world. Food writer, chef and TV host Tasting Everything, Samin Nosrat, thinks that the way these foods feel, literally, explains why people are turning to them now. I think soft foods are really comforting, honestly. Like maybe it reminds you of being a baby.

I don't know. It's interesting you bring up soft because I have to tell you, I love Kool Whip. No way! I love that you're just sitting there eating it. But eating processed foods out of plastic tubs doesn't equal comfort for everyone. I see a lot of baking, both sweet and savory, happening. You know, the whole world seems to be interested in making bread.

Yes, the good old-fashioned oven is hot once again. One of the greatest things I think right now that cooking can offer us is a little bit of an escape from our heads and from our worries. You're forced to smell and see and taste and touch. And that gets you out of your head and into your body, which is so important right now. Well, you know, it's interesting.

It's like you're drawing a distinction. There's comfort food, and then you're talking about comfort cooking. Yeah, and I do think for me, and I hope for other people, that it's also something that we can derive pleasure from. There is no one recipe for comfort food. It's whatever floats your gravy boat. I actually find vegetables to be really comforting, but that's not what I'm hearing people are being drawn to. Because if there's other hardship and other anxiety, you just want that thing that's going to make you feel like a warm hug.

And for a lot of people, that's not like a spinach salad. Henry Winkler first made his mark as the Fonz on the TV series Happy Days way back in the 1970s. These days, the stay-at-home orders have put acting on hold, leaving him time to speak through the window with our Tracy Smith. If there's anyone you'd want to see during a pandemic, it's actor, writer, producer, director, and all-around nice guy, Henry Winkler, even if it's through a glass door. So Henry, how are you?

I figured this out. I am like everybody else in this country. I bet we have gone through every exact emotion all without knowing it together.

He's quarantining in his home in L.A., a spot that's still peaceful despite construction nearby. I feel like I'm admiring you through a shop window. My sweater. Are you comfortable opening the door if I step back a little bit? I am. Okay, let's do it.

Yeah? Okay. Okay, somehow Henry Winkler has always seemed comfortable in whatever situation or role he's taken on. His latest... And action. Acting teacher Gene Cusineau. Wow, wow.

In the hit HBO series, Barry. Bravo! I just saw you go to a place tonight I have never seen before. Okay, I see you're still in that place. I'm going to leave you to your process. They can wait till Monday.

In a show that's part comedy, part tragedy, Bill Hader plays a hitman who decides to try acting. So we're going to be okay? I promise you we're going to work through this.

Winkler is his beloved but self-absorbed mentor. Now I, Bill, my private classes, threw another loan out. So I'm just going to go and get that ledger.

Okay. Last month, the cast and crew thought they were going to start production on season number three. We were at the table reading the first four scripts and we were going to come back the next day and read three and four. And went home and never went back. This was on March 18th?

18th. Have you kept in touch with other members of the cast? All the time. All the time. We have a group chat and send funny things.

I am filled with anxiety things. Hello things. I'm hugging you things. To the Barry cast, he's a father figure of sorts. But to so many of us, Henry Winkler will always be the coolest teenager on the block. Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, The Fonz, from the TV comedy Happy Days, which premiered in 1974 and made Winkler world famous.

All right, now listen up, girl. One time, one time moment. Lying right up here, kiss the Fonz for a buck.

That's a bargain at any price. All these years later on Halloween, one of Winkler's five grandkids actually dressed up as the Fonz. That's so great. And you know, I didn't know he was going to do this. When I walked in the house, my heart flew out of my body.

If my heart could leave my body and just soar, it would have. But now he and his grandkids have to keep their distance. They visit with him from the driveway.

Not being able to touch them, to hug them, to squeeze them, maybe worst of all, maybe worst of all. Still, he knows he's lucky to be stuck inside with a partner, Stacy, his wife of more than 40 years. Have you learned anything new about each other during this lockup together? No, but I will say the other day, honestly, I said to Stacy, I'm so proud of us. I am so proud because this is tough. You know, I don't know that two people were meant to be together 24 hours a day.

We have gotten a rhythm and we get along so well. Tell me what you've been doing. A jigsaw puzzle, walking the dogs, binge watching, reading Daniel Silva, eating, oh, a lot of good eating. He's also been co-writing another in his series of kids books and giving pep talks to elementary students studying at home. No matter how hard learning is for you, remember this, it has nothing to do with how brilliant you are. Winkler says he didn't read a book until he was 31 years old. We should mention that when we talk about how you're reading Daniel Silva and you're writing these books, people might not remember that you're dyslexic. I am very dyslexic, but I mean, I am dyslexic to the point of distraction.

I had a Zoom meeting early this morning and I couldn't figure out, I didn't see what to do. And so it just is. Wow. Even now, despite all that you've overcome.

You never get better. And every book I've read, I have on the shelf as a triumph. Henry Winkler. And there's another triumph we should mention. Can we take a peek at the Emmy? Is it somewhere? I have it. So you have it there?

In 2018, Winkler won a primetime Emmy, his first for his work in Barrie. Oh, my God. Okay. I only have 37 seconds. I wrote this 43 years ago. Okay. And she's got wings.

So in the morning, you never know where you're going to find her. But what a thing. I am, for all time, an Emmy winner.

And maybe at this particular time, Henry Winkler is a comfort, a reminder that good things can and will endure. You got Fonz when you were 27. Yes.

And Cusineau, the part on Barrie, when you were 72. Unbelievable. Beautiful symmetry. Unbelievable. If I did not understand gratitude before that, just that I had a dream that I would not be a flash in the pan. I had a dream that I would just continue. And I did. Through the help of some wonderful friends, through tenacity. Through the help of some wonderful friends, through tenacity.

Wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe, and we're not able to do in daytime television. So watch out, listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go. We learned more about the coronavirus and possible treatments this past week. We also learned more about what the economic shutdown may mean for retail stores in general, and the department store in particular. Dr. John Lapook and money correspondent Jill Schlesinger are tracking both stories.

We begin with Jill Schlesinger. For weeks, they've been fields of desolation. But slowly, mall parking lots are starting to come back to life. Malls started reopening on Friday in Texas and some southern states.

Others are offering curbside pickup, like at Stonebriar Center outside Dallas, Texas. It's uncharted territory for us. Stephanie Brazier is a senior vice president at Brookfield Properties, which manages 170 malls across the country, including Stonebriar. Our research actually indicates that 70% of people are looking forward to shopping in person again. But as it struggles to reopen amid the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the retail industry is facing a new reality.

Biologically, a virus is meant to or usually goes through and calls the herd. Scott Galloway is a professor of marketing at New York University. And we're having the same thing economically. We're having a culling of the herd, and that is strong retailers are going to probably emerge from this stronger.

There's more foliage for a fewer number of elephants. That means the biggest names in retail are reaping the greatest benefits from those who spend their $1,200 government checks to everyone buying everything possible online right now. If you think about the stimulus, you could argue it's the Amazon and Walmart Shareholder Act, because not only did we put a lot of stimulus in the hands of consumers who spend a disproportionate amount of their consumer dollars at an Amazon or a Walmart and need those basic essentials, but they also had an opportunity to see 98% of their competitors closed. As they've deserted the streets and sheltered at home, Americans have changed their everyday shopping habits, perhaps permanently. Online grocery sales are way up. Is this a growth area for the stop and shops in the Kroger's of the world?

Oh, 100%. You could see just in this last 90 days that we're going to take somewhere between $70 and $100 billion in U.S. grocery commerce and move it from the store to online. No part of the retail industry has suffered more than department stores. When they first appeared more than 150 years ago, One of the largest, most spacious stores in America.

They were feared as much as loved. Consumers really liked it, but who did not like it was the little stores that were being gobbled up. The key thing to realize is that these department stores in the 19th century, especially toward the end of it, when there were many more of them, they were the disruptors of their day every bit as much as Amazon. Jan Whitaker has written about the history of department stores. She says the disruptors may be about to become the disrupted. The department store has been in decline for a very long time.

Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney are on the verge of bankruptcy. Others have furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers and seen their credit downgraded. COVID-19 is really more of an accelerant than it is a change engine. And that is the future is just happening playing out the same way.

It's just being pulled forward faster. And department stores are likely the walking dead. They were in the seventh inning of their life. Now they are officially in the bottom of the ninth, if you will, especially retail apparel. At Brookfield Properties, they're still committed to department stores, but maybe hedging their bets a little. Many of us who walk into a mall are used to an anchor store, one big department store that's on either side or maybe two different sides. Is that still the case today?

And if not, what replaces it? Our department stores are still valuable partners for us, and it varies according to market. We have properties where we are replacing department stores with grocers, sporting goods stores, health care facilities. But then we also opened a new property in Connecticut last year with two department stores. By tomorrow, at least 50 malls and 68 Macy's are expected to reopen across the country.

The question for retailers is, if they open, will we come? I'm Dr. John Lapook. Four days ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that the drug remdesivir was an effective treatment for COVID-19. Not a cure, but a huge step forward. He said it reminded him of 1986 when there was finally a drug effective in treating HIV AIDS. For me, memories came flooding back. You see, I was an intern in March 1981, when I saw the very first case of AIDS in the hospital where I trained. First bed on the left in the intensive care unit.

I could still tell you his name. I was a newly minted doctor, and I thought I was going to save the world. But then for years, every single patient with AIDS that I treated died. Everyone.

Then in 1986, a young doctor named Anthony Fauci announced that the drug AZT was effective in treating HIV AIDS. Science. Good old reliable science.

Something to cherish and embrace. Which brings us to right now. You can understand why people are starting to get fed up with staying home.

And some states are tempted to open up sooner than they should. But this is a moment to double down on science, not abandon it. That said, give yourself a break. This is hard, and it's been months of fewer hugs. In 2009, my mother died.

My parents had been married for 66 years. And after a few months, my dad said to me, is it OK on pretending she's still at the hairdresser? His defense mechanism, denial, was crumbling. And he was finally coming to grips with the reality that she was not coming back. That's where many of us are right now, realizing we're in this for the long run. But remember, the long run includes talented, devoted scientists like Dr. Anthony Fauci. There are still serious challenges ahead. But we're making serious progress. And we have to continue to have faith in science. Grim as the mounting toll from coronavirus may be, there are also more and more survivors, our Seth Stone among them. Way too many hospital visits during this crisis have been a one-way trip. The patient is dying alone.

There is no family nearby. Dr. Michael Sagg has seen it. So has his son, Dr. Harry Sagg. No question, over the past two weeks, I've had the hardest conversations I've ever had with families. But that reality makes this one all the more rewarding, when a COVID patient is released and ultimately joins the ranks of the recover.

Surviving this coronavirus is another thing this father and son have in common after Harry unknowingly infected his dad. Both of us knew where the road could go if things go downhill. We all are part of this group now of coronavirus survivors. How is it to be on the other side of this?

First thing we feel is gratitude that we made it. And then the second thing is from those video games, it's almost like I have a cloak of invincibility. But the truth is, we don't know that. Dr. Sagg has dedicated much of his career to studying AIDS at the University of Alabama and sees questions about potential immunity through the lens of an infectious disease researcher. There are some viruses like measles, mumps, rubella, that once you have it, you don't get it again. But there's other viruses like dengue fever that you can not only get a second time, but the second time the infection and the disease is much worse. As I found after battling this coronavirus for weeks and finally testing negative more than a month later, initial relief gives way to a new set of questions. We don't even know anyone who's had this virus and survived six months down the line. So we have no idea what it's going to look like to have survived this virus a year out from getting it or two years out. Fiona Lowenstein, who was hospitalized for COVID-19 back in March, started a support group for thousands of other coronavirus survivors. The number one kind of shared experience is that symptoms are lingering for a long time. There also are a lot of people having similar mental health issues. There's a lot of people saying my employer doesn't understand why I'm still not feeling well, my family doesn't understand, my friends don't understand, and I feel really alone. So a recent article in the New York Times featuring stories of emboldened survivors throwing dinner parties and traveling left her wondering.

I think that there were a lot of people who saw it and were like, who are these superheroes that are doing this? Because that's not me. I wear a mask all the time when I'm in public. You know, my knuckles are still so dry from washing my hands all the time. Survivor Jacob Brown is still cautious after the virus took so much. I had like a part-time restaurant job.

I lost that, obviously. But yeah, and then got laid off from the full-time job. You got all of the punches from COVID.

Yeah, move home, back with the family. This former New York software designer is now in North Carolina, helping his family's struggling toy business. He's hoping by donating blood in his antibody-rich plasma, some good can come from this. I have this rare opportunity to try and help with research or, you know, donate blood. You see having had COVID-19 as a rare opportunity?

If I can help in some sort of way, save a life, like I'm glad to do it. Dr. Michael Sagg is also donating blood plasma, and he and his son always suit up in full protective gear when they each volunteer to treat COVID-19 patients. Are you surprised that at this point we still know so little about this virus?

No, it's kind of the opposite. I'm stunned that we know so much as we do. Let's look at AIDS. AIDS first was described in early 1981. It wasn't until two and a half years later that we found the cause, a virus. And it wasn't until a year after that that we had a test. And it wasn't until two or three years after that we had our first drug. That's six years.

We're less than six months into this. And while key questions about immunity remain, he's optimistic. My personal belief as a researcher, a virologist, an infectious disease provider, and a former patient, I really believe that the antibody will be protective and people will not be reinfected. And that gives me hope for a vaccine. So is it fair to say there's a cautious sigh of relief, maybe? I think that's a great way to put it. Adults aren't the only ones chafing at stay-at-home rules and regulations.

Steve Hartman has proof. She seems harmless enough, but nine-year-old Daphne Garnier is part of a growing resistance in America. Lately she's been ticketing her parents for things like not trying to work it out, not listening to me, and adding corn to the chili.

I didn't want corn in my chili and she added it. It seems like maybe you've got a little shorter fuse. I know that. I try to work on it, but... How's your quarantine going? Not very good. Cute, right?

No. Did King George think it was cute when his little brat spilled tea in the harbor? That's why this concerns me.

Across the country, kids are picking up their pitchforks for the tiniest grievances. There was peace in the land. What happened?

This is Farhad Manjoo. We went for a walk and it was too long of a walk, apparently. He says that triggered a written demand from his two children for more control in later bedtimes. It says here, if you do not sign, we will declare war on the parents and there's no signature. So I assume war is happening? Yeah, war broke out that day. My kids took my wife prisoner, which basically meant she got to nap in my son's room. Uh, but they left the lights on.

Left the lights on? Alert the Hague! And then there's 10-year-old Jackson Fine, who issued a travel ban to his parents. You've banned all entry to your room because of coronavirus? Because of coronavirus and the revolution.

This is every day. Jackson now considers himself a separate state with his own national anthem, which he appropriated from the country of Tajikistan. He plays it on a constant loop as torture for his dictator parents.

They just don't seem to understand what a democratic government is. Can I talk to the enemy? Uh, yeah, you're gonna regret it. This is King Mike. Yeah. How did it get this far? Unfortunately, his unit on the American Revolution, uh, came right before.

And Mike says he's been drafting manifestos ever since. It says here, they forced me to make unfair agreements that I don't have any say in. Isn't that just being a kid? Yeah, but it doesn't feel like being a kid. It feels like life. It is life. Well, then I'm in for a rough ride. Yeah, you are in for a rough ride. Parents in America have never been more inept. Children in America never more fed up. So after you sew your mask, you may want to save some fabric for your white flag. We're in conversation this morning with talk show veteran Phil Donahue and his wife, actress Marlo Thomas.

Subject, secrets of marriages that last. Hi, you guys. Hi, you all got your masks on good. Behind COVID face masks and bundled against a blustery April chill.

And it's freezing. Who'd recognize Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. And since we've been locked up, I've given him haircuts. But for his signature, gray hair. If I go bald, this marriage is over.

So far, so good. They celebrate their 40th anniversary this month. What's the date of your wedding anniversary? It's the 5th of May, May 5th. You're so funny.

You know very well what it is. I'm born November 21st. She's born December 21st. And we specifically decided to be married on a 21. So 5 21.

Lucky 21. If I hadn't been married on flag day, Garrett, neither one of us would ever know our wedding anniversary. To mark the occasion, they wrote a book about marriage, featuring 40 famous couples who stood the test of time and many other tests along the way.

Having a sick kid, having a bad mother-in-law, losing all your money, addiction of all kinds, infidelity. Any issue you can imagine that any marriage could face in our book, they faced it. So how would you guys begin typically? We didn't start with a question, really. We kind of, it was like a double date, a double date that began with crackers and cheese and eventually got down to brass tacks. We talked about how do you fight? How do you come back from a fight?

Some people are championship fighters. I'm thinking of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the fixer upper couple, the view from the outside. You're just so smart.

What'd you think? I was going to put them in an angle. There's three different places you could put them.

You could put the hinge. I just want to make sure that we're all on the same page. They fought a lot in the beginning of their marriage because she's very cautious and he's crazy adventurer. But he said one time they were having an argument and in the middle of the argument, she banged her hand down on a bucket of paint and it spilled all over her. White paint was dripping from her face and her clothes. He said, but she didn't stop. She just kept screaming and yelling. He said, he looked at her, he thought, you know what? I love this woman.

She is so passionate. Billy Crystal met Janice, his wife of 50 years, when he was 17. He didn't even have a driver's license yet. Why did he cling so ferociously to the teenage girl he fell in love with when he was a kid? I think they really believed in each other. One of the things I was impressed with Janice and Billy and Arlene and Alan Alda, these are guys that had careers that were really going nowhere. Billy Crystal was a substitute teacher. Alan Alda drove a cab. But their wives believed in them.

Their wives never said to them, as many wives might, when are you going to get a real job? Would you kindly welcome Marlo Thomas? Phil and Marlo's love affair began in 1977. You are really fascinating. No, but you are wonderful.

With a TV audience. You are loving and generous and you like women. There were sparks. Whoever is the woman in your life is very lucky. Well, thank you very much. It really wasn't an interview. I was really terrified of marriage. And he said to me, how come you've never married? I said, oh, I just don't believe it's for me.

It seems like it's only a place for one and a half persons. You know, the person that has the dream and the other person who supports the dream. Where did you get that idea?

Well, my parents, for one. Her mother had given up a singing career to marry the star of TV's Danny Thomas show. What do you think I am, an idiot?

Don't you answer that. But within weeks, Marlo Thomas was a regular guest in the home of a single dad raising four boys in Winnetka, Illinois. I think being single and independent was almost your brand. No, I was never getting married.

Like the character she played in the hit TV series, That Girl. Marlo Thomas was pursuing a career, not a husband. I was friendly with a couple who lived here before. Are you a couple? No, I'm a single. I was trying to portray for the first time on television a young girl who wasn't thinking about getting married. She was thinking about who she could be in the world.

A revolutionary idea in 1966. There were men in your life. Oh, my.

Typically two at a time. How did you put that? You know, one was always a really smart guy who I love learning from, and the other one was the sexy guy with a little curl in his forehead. I never could put them together. I didn't think that it was possible to find a mate who would be so smart and be so exciting to my brain and also be exciting to my hormones. Yeah, I'm looking at Phil and he's got a little a little curl there. You got a little smile on your face?

Yeah. No, and then you meet Phil Donahue and Phil, you were, by the time you and Marlo meet, to use the modern lingo, a woke man. You were a feminist, at least your reputation. You were a daytime host who got it about women.

Was that was that real? Well, I had Gloria Steinem on my program very early and all the feminists somehow seemed to sooner or later show up on The Donahue Show. And we were thrilled with that because they were good guests, including. I always say I'm so lucky I married a man who saw The Donahue Show every day. And today, every day is The Donahue Show at their house. My first guest is the caller there. Mr. Donahue, you have a package downstairs. Oh, thank you. They've posted some of their adventures on Instagram.

And they're learning a lot in the bunker, as they call it. Marlo's teaching Phil to make spaghetti sauce. Garlic, stand by garlic, coming up. He's very good at shopping.

Just a little bit around the ears. Phil and Marlo at home alone and making a marriage that lasts. What do you think, Mr. Donahue?

Just perfect. I believe that marriage is a cushion of life. And it does help you get up and over whatever issue it is and get through it to the other side.

And every time you do that for each other, that braid of love and steel and trust just gets tighter and tighter so that somebody else can't break it. Nobody self-quarantines quite like our Jim Gaffigan. Here's his look back at week seven. OK, it happened. I've been in quarantine in my New York City apartment with my wife and five children for what now? A hundred years. OK, fine.

It's only been seven weeks, but it finally happened. I miss other people, and I'm not talking about my friends. Obviously, I miss my friends, not all of them. And I'm not talking about people who come to my shows or follow me on social media.

Obviously, those are good people with excellent taste. No, I'm talking about the other people, the strangers, the people I don't know, who I haven't seen for seven weeks. You see, living in an urban setting like I do, other people or strangers are an integral part of my life. I can't walk down the street, ride the subway, or pick up my kid from school without interacting with strangers. Pre-pandemic, I wasn't a fan of strangers.

Strangers seem to be in the way, strangers seem to be a burden. Now I miss them. You know that person at the airport who decides to only start looking for their I.D.

when they're standing in front of the TSA guy? I miss that person. I miss the people I would see in my neighborhood once a month.

The lady with the enormous dog that certainly wouldn't fit in any New York City apartment. I miss the guy in the fashionable green overalls who, whenever he would see me and my oversized family, would sneer at us. Maybe he wasn't sneering.

Maybe that's just his expression. My point is, I miss community. Humans, we are social animals. I don't need a hug. I need a sneer.

I look forward to the day one of you can sneer at me. This is The Takeout with Major Garrett. This week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest midterm money men. List for me the two Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire. Not Georgia. Well, Georgia's right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise. In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie Hassan. For more from this week's conversation, follow The Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 11:56:13 / 2023-01-28 12:13:44 / 18

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