Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Facts Are Facts


(Steve Allen’s Book ‘HiHo Steverino’)

A public figure undertaking to write his autobiography faces at least one problem: so much is already known of him that his story can scarcely hope to surprise the reader at every turn of the narrative. The novelist is under no such handicap. Unhindered by facts, he need be guided only by his imagination, which has unlimited freedom. The autobiographer on the other hand, if he has a conscience, must conform to the details of his history, particularly those which are a matter of public record.


I choose to start, therefore, by referring to several elements of my personal history which have been reported by the media. Let me briefly set them down:


  • I was born in Chicago.
  • I am Jewish. My first wife was Jewish.
  • I am the third richest man in the entertainment field, after Bob Hope and the late Bing Crosby, with a personal fortune of over 200 million dollars.
  • I play the piano only in the key of G.
  • I write every word of my own comedy material.
  • I am generally procommunist, despite which I at one time recommended bombing China's nuclear facilities.
  • I am a pacifist.
  • I am also a Unitarian.
  • I take drugs.
  • I plan to run for political office.
  • I am the composer of such successful songs as "Misty," "Teach Me Tonight," and "Quando Caliente El Sol."
  • I am a gifted clarinetist, as proven by my performance in the motion picture The Benny Goodman Story.
  • I replaced comedian Jerry Lester on the Tonight show.
  • Though generally affable, I am a man of occasionally violent temper, and in one instance broke the plate glass door of the William Morris Agency building in Beverly Hills, after having been refused admittance late at night by a security guard.


Anyone about whom the above specifics are true must be a fascinating fellow, indeed. Unfortunately, I am not nearly so interesting. There is no truth at all to any of the statements listed above, though each has appeared in the public record.


May 2017...Today the news is full of stories about Fake News. It looks like Fake News has been with us since at least May 1992 because that’s when Hi Ho Steverino was first published.