Liberace, the flamboyant pianist, in this 1968 interview defines 'peacocking' and gives his ideas on politics - with some surprisingly charitable words about Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California. This is a wild interview that shatters any preconceptions anyone might have about how Liberace 'should' have felt about various issues.
Indeed, he reveals himself to have some astonishingly conservative attitudes toward folks who don't appreciate his success.
"I deserve what I get because I worked for it, and I was born and raised during Depression years, when we were on County Relief and we all went out and we hustled and we worked."It's a real eye-opener of an interview in these days when there is considered to be an 'agenda' for certain folks from which they cannot deviate - but Liberace straddled all sides of the political spectrum and wasn't afraid to tell people about it. Of course, the whole idea that if you are one thing you must also automatically be 'liberal' or 'conservative' has never been true, not then, and certainly not now.
But what would Liberace do if he were President?
"I would spend the money that is spent on wars every 20 years and spend it on giving people work."Fair enough. And then he gets worked up and goes on to deliver this chestnut:
"People who sit back and wait for somebody to take care of them are the people that I am speaking of. These are the people who if, shown a way, can be useful to our society."But Liberace, what about those who are shown 'the way" and don't pay any attention?
"Well then I guess they are just basic criminal people who don't belong in our society."This is another in the Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios series of animations connected to obscure interviews of famous people.
From the youtube page:
"Anyone that dares begrudge what I have today, just better get off their duff and do something about it"
- Liberace in 1968 as told to Jay Kent Hackleman
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Executive Producer: David Gerlach
Animator: Patrick Smith