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Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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June 23, 2019 10:33 am

CBS Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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June 23, 2019 10:33 am

Seeing red: Mankind gets closer to Mars; Almanac: Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey; Sherry Lansing, on life in Hollywood, and life since Hollywood; "Something new": Surprise weddings; In a class by herself; The chronicles of "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau; Dave Barry on learning to age more gracefully

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Visit to order samples. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. For centuries, astronomers looking up at one of Earth's closest neighbors have been seeing red. Now, a number of space exploration advocates say they see a path to sending humans to the red planet, Mars, within just a few short years.

David Pogue will report our cover story. Mars has captivated our attention for eons, a little brighter, a little redder than the other lights in the celestial sphere. Early when we looked up at the sky with telescopes, we saw roadways, we saw canals. We've never really lost this idea that maybe Mars was alive or had life.

Coming up on Sunday morning, getting ready to go to Mars. I have questions this morning for Gary Trudeau. To his fans, he's a beloved cartoonist, while to me, he is a beloved husband who recently passed a most significant milestone.

Do you feel old yet? Very. Gary Trudeau began drawing Dunesbury half a century ago. It was more or less an accidental career. All these years later, he's still at it.

And so are we. I imagine even now, to have your audience watching this, go, really? She married a cartoonist? Yeah.

She could have done so much better. The anniversary of a comic strip classic ahead on Sunday morning. A shouted surprise is a common enough greeting for the unsuspecting guest of honor at a party. But does it have a place at one of the most consequential ceremonies of all?

Surprisingly, yes. As Luke Burbank will show us. Summer is here, which also means wedding season is here. Where did this idea for a surprise wedding come from? You know, a lot of brides talk about how stressful wedding planning was.

And I just, I have no time or care to deal with any of that. We've all heard of surprise birthday parties, but a surprise wedding? We're at one, and it's about to get started later on Sunday morning. Mo Rocca talks to Sherry Lansing about her leading role in Hollywood. Dave Barry finds old age reminders in his mailbox. And more. I'm going to tell you what happened in the mailbox. And more.

All coming up when our Sunday morning podcast continues. NASA scientists last week reportedly received evidence from the curiosity rover of a surprisingly high level of methane on the red planet Mars. Possibly a sign of life. Yet another reason why so many earthlings are dreaming of traveling to Mars and seeing red for themselves. Our cover story is reported by David Pogue. We've always been intrigued by Mars. We've composed music about it. We've made paintings of it. And we've made so many movies about it.

But what no person has ever done before is go there. Mars in the public zeitgeist is very hot right now. We're closer to putting footprints on the surface of Mars today than we've ever been in the past.

Adam Steltzner is the chief engineer for a new unmanned NASA mission to Mars launching next year called Mars 2020. So Mars is smaller than Earth. It's colder. It has a very thin atmosphere so you couldn't breathe it.

And so it's a very inhospitable environment. Of course this isn't NASA's first mission to Mars. We put the Viking lander on Mars in 1967. The Viking lander on Mars in 1976. The Sojourner rover in 1997.

Twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003. And in 2012 Adam Steltzner's last big project the Curiosity rover. It's still exploring Mars today. Curiosity told us that the ancient wet environment of Mars was in fact habitable for life.

Still the question hangs tantalizingly unanswered in front of us if it was alive. And our mission Mars 2020 is sort of here to hopefully untangle that question and provide an answer. The star of Mars 2020 is this rover. Its cameras lasers and sensors will analyze the surface of Mars looking for signs of ancient life. And it will put rock samples into airtight canisters for a later mission to bring back to Earth. This rover will also be carrying a stowaway. A fellow robot that will detach once the rover is safely on Mars. The mid part is the rotor system with a pair of counter rotating blades. That's right NASA has built a Mars helicopter.

NASA's Mimi Ong. This particular helicopter is designed now to fly up to 90 seconds. 90 seconds? 23 million dollars for a drone that can fly 90 seconds?

It doesn't sound like very much. Look this is the first time ever that we're flying on another planet. Meanwhile at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. plans are afoot to send an even more delicate cargo to Mars. Has NASA thought about an overall timeline of putting a man on Mars, person on Mars?

We're thinking maybe the the mid-2030s as a timeline just visionary. Jim Bridenstine is the NASA administrator, the top dog. A key element of his Mars plan is creating a sort of rehearsal stage on the moon. The moon can be a great proving ground for our first mission to Mars.

If something doesn't go right there's still an opportunity to get home. Is part of the Mars push to literally create a a planet B? You know are people thinking that science fiction-y? I'm not ruling it out but it's not my objective right now. So the main objective is we want to discover life.

But not everyone thinks that way. Some people argue that we need another option in case we make the Earth uninhabitable. You want a backup planet? You want a backup strategy?

Maybe a couple of backup strategies. The moon could be one, Mars could be one. Wynn Shotwell is the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX whose business is launching cargo, satellites and soon people into space for its customers, governments, communications companies and NASA.

Her boss is Tesla billionaire Elon Musk. It's important that we try to become a multi-planet civilization, extend life beyond Earth. Unlike NASA, SpaceX reuses its rockets instead of just letting them burn up.

It's astonishing to see them return to the pad and land perfectly on their tails by themselves. Still, SpaceX and NASA need each other. I want to be clear we are working with NASA. So you're not competitors? Not competitors to NASA, no.

They're a customer as well as a partner. But Shotwell does think that SpaceX will put people on Mars first. We would love to be in a position to send a ship to Mars in 2022. Hopefully if we did a good job in 2022 we would be able to we would be able to send people in 2024. 2024 with people? Do people say you're crazy?

People have said we are crazy since we started. This is the enormous rocket that SpaceX is building for Mars. It's called the super heavy.

It's not quite as big as the Saturn booster, the biggest of all time, but SpaceX says it's six times as powerful. So why Mars now? The characteristics of the planet were close enough to Earth that we could see a path to putting humans on Mars and having them survive.

But it is a fixed upper planet. Life is not going to be easy on Mars for the first few decades for sure. We're in the middle of a lava flow and this is the high seas habitat behind us. Hawaii space exploration analog and simulation.

Kim Binstead is a professor at the University of Hawaii and the mastermind behind this isolated habitat perched on the side of a Hawaiian volcano. It feels as much like Mars as you can find on Earth. So this gives us a chance to run long duration simulations of exploring the surface of Mars. So by long duration I mean four to twelve months or even longer. You mean people live in that dome for a year?

A year yeah. Wow and can they call home? Nope they are under a 20 minute each way communications delay. So that's to simulate the amount of time it takes for a signal to get from Earth to Mars.

So that means no web surfing, no social media, no picking up the phone and calling anyone. Can I try it on? Yeah sure.

Do you have it in a 40 long? The high seas habitat can't simulate the hostile conditions on Mars but it can simulate being cooped up with fellow astronauts during a months-long mission. The main thing we're testing are the people. If the human part fails it's just as catastrophic as if the rocket blows up. Binstead says that the key is choosing the right kind of people.

It can be summarized as a thick skin, a long fuse and an optimistic outlook. If you took people off the street and put them in this habitat they would probably be at each other's throats within a day or two. Probably because inside it feels like a one and a half story camping tent. So this is a bedroom. As you can see it's not very big.

No. But you do have a bed. It's about what you'd get on a cheap cruise ship.

Very cheap. If you can imagine going on a family holiday in a camper van for a year and this is this is kind of the situation we're talking about here and our crews have all emerged alive. Now space travel is massively expensive. So I had to ask NASA head Jim Bridenstine the big taxpayer question. Why should we spend money on going to other planets when we have so many problems here at home?

I think that's a very short-sighted suggestion and I'll tell you why. Space has transformed all of our lives. The way we communicate, the way we navigate, produce food, produce energy, the way we predict weather, the way we do disaster relief, provide national security and defense.

And the only reason that all of these technologies are available to us that is because of the trail that NASA has blazed doing exploration. Plus Tang. Plus Tang. Tang chosen for the Gemini astronauts. Have a blast.

Have some Tang. So here's where we stand. NASA is completing construction of its new Mars rover in readiness for its launch in July 2020. In Texas SpaceX is firing prototypes of its Mars rocket engines twice a week getting ready for short test flights in late 2020. I think we'll get to Mars. I think we'll do it within the next decade for sure. And NASA's Adam Steltzner is looking forward to watching his baby lift off to Mars. From a distance. Would you ever want to go to Mars? No.

Why not? I have children and a beautiful garden and this is a warm wet kiss compared to the surface of Mars. I'd like to just hang out here. And now a page from our Sunday morning almanac. June 23rd, 1894.

125 years ago today. The day sex researcher Alfred Charles Kinsey was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. A trained biologist Kinsey achieved fame even notoriety in the 1940s and 50s with a pair of best-selling books about male and female sexual behavior. Controversial research he defended on scientific grounds.

I discovered that there was practically nothing known about human sexual behavior in comparison with what we knew about the sexual behavior of other animals. Kinsey based his eye-opening findings on thousands of personal interviews. Training his researchers to first put their subjects at ease as portrayed in the 2004 film Kinsey starring Liam Neeson.

If you ease in with innocuous questions people forget they're giving sex histories. Many of Kinsey's findings indicate that he was not the only one of Kinsey's findings and techniques remain controversial including his occasional reliance on the accounts of admitted child abusers. Still he's widely hailed as a trailblazer in a previously taboo field. Alfred Kinsey died in 1956 at the age of 62.

Today the research he pioneered continues at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington. We were attracted to each other at the party that was obvious. You're on your own for the night that's also obvious. It's Sunday morning on CBS and here again is Jane Pauley. Michael Douglas and Glenn Close had provocative leading roles in the 1987 film Fatal Attraction. Thanks to the woman who was playing the leading role at the studio that produced it. Sherry Lansing has a Hollywood story all her own as Moroccan now tells us. How did you fall in love with movies?

It began from the time I was a kid I adored my father. And as a young girl growing up in Chicago Sherry Lansing's father would take her to the movies on weekends. He'd watch Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin and I'd watch him laugh and then I'd watch him cry and I'd watch him be moved and so I saw that film could be about something but also change the way you think. Sherry Lansing went on to change Hollywood when she became the first woman to run a major movie studio. A true Hollywood story told in a recent book but when she headed west at the age of 22 this future pioneer first tried acting. Mary's really keeping her looks. She was in a commercial for ivory dish soap.

I have plenty of tortillas and beans and chili. And then she was cast as a young Mexican woman in 1970s Rio Lobo. Take a look. Starring John Wayne.

Go on take a good look. You did well as an actress. But the problem is I was always uncomfortable as an actress. First of all I had no talent. I really was a bad actress so I just want to say that. I really really was a bad actress.

You're going to say no to yourself. I would never not cast me. Her director on Rio Lobo was the great Howard Hawks. Howard Hawks had this image of what a woman should be.

She should be tall, she should be brown hair, blue-eyed you know. And Hawks told her she should speak in a deep voice like actress Lauren Bacall. So I was supposed to speak like this through the whole movie.

I told you I'd kill him. She couldn't have a Chicago accent. She couldn't be animated. I hated it. So Lansing quit acting and put her college English degree to work reading scripts.

I had a desk and I had a script and as uncomfortable as I felt when I was acting I felt equally the opposite reading scripts. And strangely enough I wasn't afraid to express my opinions. She rose up the ranks quickly working on movies like The China Syndrome and Kramer versus Kramer.

And in 1980 Sherry Lansing was named president of production for 20th Century Fox. Did you appreciate how big a deal that was at the time? Not initially of course but then when it's on the front page of every newspaper. The New York Times.

Yes. The headline. The New York Times headline was X model becomes head of 20th Century Fox.

I mean that shows you what the time was like. As a studio head she had power but she didn't enjoy overseeing everyone else's movies. So within three years she stepped down so that she could produce her own movies.

One of those was Fatal Attraction. And you're here with a strange girl being a naughty boy. The story of a single woman played by Glenn Close whose relationship with a married man. I'll tell your wife. Played by Michael Douglas turns menacing.

You tell my wife I'll kill you. I identified with the Glenn Close character because I had had a boyfriend who one day got up and said I don't love you anymore I'm leaving. And I thought we were completely happy. And for about two days I couldn't get out of bed. And then I started to dial his number and he would answer and I would hang up the phone. And then I drove around his block and I felt as if he had taken all my self-esteem with me. Well he did get up and leave right in the middle of the night right? I mean it's pretty rough.

He no it's the morning. Lansing's instinct for what made a good story paid off. Fatal Attraction was a blockbuster. Lansing had another smash hit with Indecent Proposal which starred Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore as a financially struggling couple offered a million dollars from an older Robert Redford to spend a night with the bride. Now the night would come and go but the money could last a lifetime. The movie seemed to have everyone talking.

I used to call it the dinner conversation. You go see a movie you go see Indecent Proposal and you've been entertained you've been moved but then you say would you do that? Lansing was named CEO of Paramount Pictures in 1992. This little theater is where I saw the first cut of every movie. It was another first for women. Your name up in lights.

Yep. Lansing's role model for navigating in a male-dominated environment her mother Margo who'd overcome her own share of challenges. When Lansing was just nine her father who'd run his own business died. In the middle of her grief these two gentlemen came to see my mother and they said to her Margo you don't need to worry we'll take over the business and we'll take care of you and your family and she said no you won't you will teach me how to run the business. That must have really sunk in for you.

Beyond and I and I will take care of my children. She used to say to me as a kid pull up your socks and that meant stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with it. A few years later her mother married businessman Norton Lansing. That relationship offered Lansing another lesson. Sometimes she'd start to yell and she'd start to laugh and she'd go oh he's really upset isn't he and I watched her do that and I realized very early on that yelling is a style.

It's a way of expressing yourself. That must have served you very well for so many years when you were the only woman in the room. It did. It didn't frighten me. I didn't hear it. I mean I literally didn't hear it.

Lansing says she never suffered physical harassment during her years in Hollywood. She says she's been shocked and saddened by the revelations of the past couple of years. It's very painful to think that women had to endure this and it makes me feel very sad and I'm just very very glad that they feel empowered enough now to speak out. And if somebody had come to you with the kinds of of allegations we hear now. I would have taken very strong action. You're a tough lady. You're a tough lady.

No I think I'm a fair lady and that kind of behavior cannot be tolerated. Come on over to them over here honey. And this is where they'll pick up the shot I'm sure.

So they'll pick it up and we'll be I liked us talking. Lansing is married to William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of classics like The French Connection and The Exorcist. You don't need to say anything to direct.

You don't? You don't want us talking? This walk and talk produced by Sherry Lansing and directed by William Friedkin. We met at an Oscar party and the door opened and there was Sherry.

And I think I fell instantly in love with her. Friedkin had been married and divorced three times before. Now forgive me but did anyone say don't marry this man? Everyone. Oh sure.

The couple has been married for 27 years. You make me feel safe and you make me feel like I can go out there and do anything. And no matter what happens, no matter what risks I take, no matter how I might succeed or fail, that it doesn't make any difference to you. Well I'd rather you succeed. No but it's not going to change anything in our lives.

No. After a record 13 years running Paramount, Lansing made yet another bold move and left the movie business altogether. You were really successful here. You left sort of at the top of your game. Well I think life is about chapters, you know, and I felt in many ways as if I'd completed that chapter and I wanted to give back. Since that time she's immersed herself in the non-profit world and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for causes including education, education, and cancer research.

In 2007, Sherry Lansing was honored with an Oscar for her life in Hollywood and her life since Hollywood. If you take risks, you're going to be wrong as much as you're right and that is the pain of life and the joy of life. Much to the surprise of our Luke Burbank, birthday parties aren't the only events that can feature the element of surprise. I don't think I don't quite feel like it's actually happening until I put the dress on. Alicia Fern and Tyler Adams are about to throw a surprise party and the tension is palpable. How are you guys feeling? Excited. Excited, a little nervous.

Yeah. If they seem a little extra nervous, it's understandable because this isn't just any surprise party, it's a surprise wedding. Surprise, we're getting married. Oh, by the way, he died a few minutes ago.

When we first met back in April in Chardon, Ohio, how you doing? The couple was trying to figure out how to keep the big reveal a secret with help from their wedding planner, Diana Warner. These are the windows that we're going to be blocking off. Yeah. Now you might be asking yourself, why exactly would someone throw a surprise wedding in the first place? I hear all these stories about my mom wants me to do this and my dad wants me to do this and, you know, my bridesmaids are fighting and I just, I have no time or care to deal with any of that. So the surprise wedding just for me kind of made sense. A surprise wedding is essentially when a couple decides that they want to forgo traditional planning and invite their guests to a party that isn't listed as a wedding. So they invite them to a birthday party, an engagement party, and then guests show up. And indeed it is a wedding. Jove Meyer is a wedding planner in New York City. And while he wouldn't say that surprise weddings are exactly sweeping, the nation, he would say the traditional wedding is moving into that something old category.

Gone are the days of picking chair cover A and B, picking fish or chicken and a white linen. I think couples are looking to up their game in terms of how they customize and personalize their celebration. The night we got engaged on the couch, I googled surprise weddings and one popped up.

The minute it came up, it was just like, oh, this is us. Sarah McManigal and Danielle Kimes told their friends in Nashville that they were having a going away party since the couple was moving to Austin. I like a party and she loves presents. So that's a win-win all the way around. Although at the surprise wedding, she did get a little shafted on the presents. That's what I was going to say.

Shafted on presents maybe, but not on the reaction from the guests when they learned this going away party was actually a wedding. And it just goes. This is a long sustained cheer. Cheer joy, Luke.

Oh my gosh. It was powerful. I mean, you kind of cheer up.

I still, it's emotional. That's exactly the kind of response Tyler Adams and Alicia Fern were hoping for back at their big reveal in Ohio. So it's finally the big day. And in a matter of moments, guests are going to show up coming through these doors and they think they're here for an engagement party. Midway through the party, they're going to find out this is actually a wedding. Our job is to not ruin the surprise. So we'll see how that goes.

After taking their wedding photos, Alicia and Tyler changed into less suspicious outfits. And then at 4.30 PM, it was time. Okay, everybody. We're ready to go inside. So if you guys want to come gather around.

The crowd seemed stunned and maybe a little confused, but mostly happy for the couple. Wow, you sneaky devil. Yeah. Of course, there's something else you have to think about. When you throw a surprise wedding. This is a pretty big. That's a big event. Blood pressure raising kind of thing.

Whether or not your family can handle the shock, like physically. John and Mary Ann Adams are parents of the groom and still seem to be processing things. I was kind of dumbfounded. I didn't know quite what to say. I'm still kind of palpitating a little.

Really? Oh yeah. With everyone medically stable, it was time for the ceremony, which mercifully was surprise free.

Then dinner, then dancing, and then like with most weddings before the bride and groom even knew it, it was over. Do you feel like this was a good call to do the surprise element? Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. I really liked it. You know, it fit us.

And it was time for their new life together to begin. Steve Hartman this morning has the story of the graduate who was truly in a class by herself. This is hardly Alcatraz, but for a kid on Cuddy Hunk Island in Massachusetts, going to school here can sometimes feel like solitary. 13-year-old Gwen Lynch is the only student in a one-room schoolhouse. It's just her and her teacher, Ms. Curvallo.

You won't find a smaller school anywhere in these United States. Gwen has lived on the island her entire life. There were other kids, including her older brother, but everyone else is gone, leaving Gwen to make the most of her solo situation. We've done plays. How could you do a play? A lot of different things. We've done plays. How could you do a play?

A lot of different parts. You played all the parts? Oh yeah. Did everybody in town come? Yeah. So it's pretty empty in there. Yeah, there was like 12. That's it?

Yeah. 12. That's the year-round population of Cuddy Hunk. The place is mostly a summer vacation destination now, although last week the census swelled tenfold. Friends and family flocking to witness Cuddy Hunk Elementary's last graduation ever.

But after today, the school built in 1873 to teach fishermen kids wool clothes due to zero enrollment. But that little school went out big. They got comedian and actress Jenny Slate to do the commencement address.

I somehow thought that you would be out here churning butter wearing a pinafore and a hoop skirt. Next fall, Gwen will go to a boarding high school on the mainland. I'm so excited. Um, even though it's a smaller school, I still- Wait, wait, wait. No it's not. What do you mean it's a smaller school?

Compared to other high schools. But still that's going to be a huge change. Yeah. How are you going to deal with it? I'm going to love it.

But really just to see like other people besides my mother and father like every single day of my life. She's ready to soar. These are the boars she's referencing. Duane and Lexi say their daughter has been asking to leave this island since she was eight. Although as far as they're concerned, Gwen had an idyllic childhood and they're confident someday she'll appreciate it.

I don't know. I mean, I didn't thank my mother for anything until I was probably 25, but I thank her all the time now. Maybe it'll be in the speech today. Here's to hoping.

But from our interview, I don't think she's ready. Then again, graduations demand reflection, and it's almost impossible to celebrate the opportunities that lie ahead without recognizing, often for the first time, the opportunities behind. Thank you for raising me. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for giving me the best beginning a child could ask for. A class of one, but a message for every parent of every 2019 graduate.

Time now for a round of questions and answers that hits very close to home for me. More than 50 years have passed since Gary Trudeau first started drawing his Doonesbury comic strip. And the proof of that is to be found in one of the most prestigious libraries in the land. In the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, the items on display include the Gutenberg Bible, an early copy of the Declaration of Independence, do you feel old yet? Very. And Cartoons by Gary Trudeau.

Well, that was one of the very first bull tales. It just makes me cringe to look at this stuff. Gary, of course, is my husband. And truth be told, we've never done anything like this before. Hi, Gary. Hi, Jane.

Yeah, do you know this? I'd like to say that this wasn't my idea. I never said no, but I didn't exactly say yes. I said, OK. I still haven't said yes.

No, you never said yes. But thank you for. Here we are. Here we are. Who is this? Zonker.

Making his first appearance. Right, right. This is a collector's item.

His work is now the Doonesbury Archive at Yale, where in 1968, the then 20-year-old students' comic strip creations began. From counterculture to curated. What a strange trip it's been. But it was your dream come true. It was not. It was more or less an accidental career.

And it didn't seem to me that I was going to be bound to this thing for any extensive period of my life. And now here it is 50 years later. Half a century of social commentary and political sense. A cast of characters that became family.

Boopsie, Duke, Joni, Mike, to name a few. But to appreciate the artist, travel beyond Doonesbury Planet to the small town shores of Saranac Lake, New York. Gary, you are the most archival person I have ever known. Gary started looking back on his life. When he was 12. And this is probably one of the last times that I personally appeared in one of my own performances. As you can see, I've got braces. And that may have had something to do with it. Gary was an impresario as a kid, staging his own basement productions. I love that telegram from your mother.

Mr. Garrett Trudeau, Saranac Lake, best of luck on your opening night. The plays gave way to painting. This moody piece won an award. It was basically an homage to my hero then Francisco Goya. And even though it's extremely depressing period of his life, it's called the black period. You were a teenager and you felt like you could relate to Goya's black period. Yeah, I was down with it.

The whole thing. That didn't last. What did was the humor. It just was fun and people enjoyed it. Evidenced in Weenie Man, Gary's anti-superhero, a hit with high school classmates. This fanatic must be stopped.

Let's dump on Weenie Man now. That comic calling followed him to college. There was a lot of excitement and hype surrounding the team. And the Yale Bowl. Where from high up in the bleachers, among admiring undergraduates, Gary Trudeau was watched Ivy quarterback phenom, Brian Dowling. Brian finds Del Marty for the third Yale score. I can almost picture Brian Dowling running down the field and Gary Trudeau metaphorically riding his coattails.

That's exactly what happened. I owe a great deal to Brian. I cooked up this idea about the team and specifically about Brian Dowling, who I renamed BD in the strip. And I took them in in the managing editor, looked at them and shrugged and said, sure, we'll reprint anything.

And the Yale Daily News did. Called Bull Tales, it caught on. Shortly after graduation, it was renamed Doonesbury and syndicated in newspapers around the country.

When you started, you were kind of a phenom. I mean, let's face it, you look at a page of comic strips from those early days, Doonesbury did stand out. It stood out for being so bad. At its height, Doonesbury appeared in nearly 2,000 papers, made the cover of Time.

There were also bands and boycotts. And in 1975, Gary Trudeau won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, a first for a comic strip. The actual prize itself was a piece of paper and a check and it arrived in the United States. And it arrived in the mail. Not long after, I entered the picture.

It was a setup, engineered by Gary's friend and My Today co-host, Tom Brokaw. Our pal here is getting married next week to a little known cartoonist. I never saw Doonesbury until after I met you. Yeah. And your friends told you you should be there.

I didn't know much about Doonesbury. You remember our honeymoon? We got married, roughly, but before we could leave for our honeymoon, we had to go back up to New York because you were on deadline. Yeah, I had strips to finish up. And I would finish them often at the airport. It was always working around the margins of family life.

And we won't know until it all comes tumbling out in therapy for our children what kind of damage was done by my constant sneaking off to work. I imagine even now, half of your audience watching this go, really? She married a cartoonist? Yeah. She could have done so much better. How did that happen? Was that your dream? But no, no, you must have.

I mean, who did you think you would end up with? An industrialist or a... No, I was holding out for a cartoonist, Gary. For a cartoonist. From Nixon on, presidents make frequent Doonesbury appearances. Donald Trump was on Gary's comic strip radar 30 years before taking office. This is 31 years ago, your first Doonesbury featuring Donald J. Trump.

He was well known enough by that time. He's denying any political ambitions. No, no, no, no.

I'm just being... Rick says, okay, but if you did run for Congress and Trump replies, president, think president. So this has been in the air for a long, long time. Of tens of thousands of strips, the one of BD losing his leg in the Iraq war had the biggest impact on readers. Almost there, BD, everything's good.

Not your time, bro. His leg is missing. That's startling.

And the fact that he didn't have a helmet on was noteworthy and just as startling. The strip has appeared in the armed services military newspaper, Stars and Stripes since 1973. Along the way, he's been nominated for an Academy Award for an animated Doonesbury film. There's been a Broadway show and the Amazon sitcom, Alpha House. But for the grownup impresario, it's that accidental career that will leave the most memorable legacy. Gary Trudeau, the chronicler of the generational counterculture, has turned 70. Yeah, I'm part of what they call a legacy strip.

It's like a legacy band. You've been around forever and that gives you a certain amount of job security. I'll probably stay in newspapers, but I'm only going to be around as long as newspapers are.

I'll be one of those guys who turns out the lights. Believe it or not, humor writer Dave Barry is about to turn 72, and he's getting the mail to prove it. I'm getting old. It feels like half the mail I get these days is urging me to prearrange my funeral. I used to get interesting, even exciting mail. Granted, a lot of it was from Ed McMahon telling me I might already have won $17 million.

He was lying, of course, but at least his letters were upbeat. Now I get mail about old person things. Funerals, hearing aids, catheters.

That's right, I get catheter mail. I also get a lot of letters from ARP. ARP is, of course, the last sound you make before you die.

ARP! But it's also a big national organization dedicated to helping us old people deal with being old, by telling us that age doesn't really matter, that we shouldn't let it limit us, that no matter how old we get, we can still do anything we set our minds to. This is also a lie, of course. I mean, no matter what, aging is kind of a bummer.

For people, anyway. But not for dogs. Anytime you feel like making a wee-wee, let us know, Luce. My dog, Lucy, turned 10 around the same time I turned 70. So if you go by dog years, we're the same age. But I've noticed that Lucy seems a lot happier in her old age than I am.

Everything makes her happy and excited. Yes. You want to go for a walk?

Do you? Like when it's time for her walk, I'll be like, oh man, I gotta walk the dog. But Lucy sees the leash. She's like, a walk?

What a great idea! How do you think this stuff up? Lucy also loves to make new friends. I almost never make new friends.

I'm not even sure all my old friends are still alive. But Lucy immediately makes friends with everybody she meets. She has way more friends than I do. She also has more fun.

Despite her age, she still loves to play. I'll be sitting around reading my catheter mail, and Lucy will come trotting up with some old dog toy in her mouth, taunting me, daring me to try to take it away from her. Lucy may be old, but she finds joy in life.

All the time, every day. I envy that. I'm going to try to be more like Lucy, to take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like play and friendship. I'm going to make a point of doing the things that Lucy does that make her happy.

Although, I draw the line at drinking from the toilet. I'm Jane Pauley. Thank you for listening. And please join us again next Sunday morning. Best way to protect the good people is to convict the bad. So here's to us. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-27 17:47:41 / 2023-01-27 18:03:54 / 16

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