In the passing last week of actress-singer Doris Day and comic actor Tim Conway, the world lost two fine and funny individuals who could teach us all a lesson in classy entertainment.
Of Conway, it was said often that he was a “clean” comedian. This enormously talented man did not need foul language or crudity. From McHale’s Navy to the Carol Burnett show, Conway entertained millions of Americans with his physical comedy, outlandish accents and funny faces.
Likewise, Doris Day used her gifts of voice and smile to draw millions to the movies. She needed neither nudity nor vulgarity to make her many roles both believable and enjoyable. She was a far more gifted actress than Hollywood cynics would admit and she was convincing in dramatic roles as well as comedy.
The cartoon that ran on the Union Leader editorial page last Wednesday cleverly summarized what we are trying to convey here. Two tykes hold a cellphone showing a news alert: Doris Day, wholesome star, dies.
One tyke asks, “Who’s Doris Day?” The other asks, “What’s wholesome?”
It was funny, and sad.