Knock Wood

By Candice Bergen

Candice Bergen’s bestselling 1984 memoir: an “engaging, clever, and wittily self-deprecating autobiography” (The manhattan Times).

Candice Bergen used to be born into the heady Hollywood of the Nineteen Fifties, the place “celebrity offspring” have been celebrities unto themselves. and since she was once the daughter of Edgar Bergen, vaudeville and radio’s maximum dignitary/comedian, her “sibling” used to be Charlie McCarthy, the impudent dummy cherished of hundreds of thousands. Bergen—much as he enjoyed his daughter—was a guy who “kept his feelings pressed and smartly hung,” and was once more well-off conversing to—and through—his brainchild who by no means needed to develop up and depart the paradise that was once childhood.

Knock wooden is a publication all approximately turning out to be up—about the comedy of expectancies that governed Candice Bergen’s youth, in regards to the ironies that attended her unique rites of passage. She stepped out right into a global that provided her a wealth of suggestions: formative years in Swiss boarding faculties; at nineteen, costarring contrary Steve McQueen within the Sand Pebbles; speedy access into the career of photojournalism; automated reputation one of the esteemed corporation of the moment—be it the foreign jet set, Bel Air within the Nineteen Sixties, or the realm that was once radical politics within the Nineteen Seventies. yet regularly she carried the conviction that her presents have been untested, her good fortune unearned.

Told with wit, self-deprecation, and an extraordinary measure of braveness, Knock wooden is the extreme list of Candice Bergen’s coming of age. it really is straight away the relocating fantasy of the affection among a father and a daughter, of a woman’s overcome self-doubt, and a stunning magazine of America’s existence and occasions during the last 4 decades.

About the Author

Candice Bergen’s movie credit comprise The Sand Pebbles, Carnal wisdom, beginning Over (for which she got an Oscar nomination), and leave out Congeniality. On tv, she made headlines because the tough-talking broadcast journalist and celebrity of Murphy Brown, for which she gained 5 Emmys and Golden Globes. She later starred with James Spader and William Shatner within the severely acclaimed sequence Boston felony.

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His dummy bears the identify of Charlie McCarthy and is a saucy little fellow. Humor is situational and character-bred instead of gaggy. variety and supply are usual and ingratiating. Bergen and the dummy talk about quite a few concerns in joshing idiom with vocal mannerisms thrown in. It represents the end result of years of theater-trained paintings. An artiste—in the previous and most sensible which means. Charlie stuck the country’s ear and by way of 1936 Edgar came upon himself in Hollywood with a radio express of his personal, first referred to as “The Chase and Sanborn Hour. ” The season’s visitor superstar used to be W. C. Fields, and masses of the show’s speedy banter used to be in accordance with a feud among Fields (who really hated the dummy) and McCarthy—timidly mediated via the ever avuncular Bergen: FIELDS: inform me, Charles, is it real your father was once a gateleg desk? CHARLIE: good, whether it is, your father was once less than it. FIELDS: Quiet, you flophouse for termites or I’ll sic a beaver on you. BERGEN: Now, invoice… CHARLIE: Mr. Fields, is flame thrower I see or is it your nostril? FIELDS: Why, you little blockhead, I’ll whittle you all the way down to a coat hanger… . Edgar acquired Bella Vista, a sprawling whitewashed Spanish condo that hung excessive over Beverly Hills, and taken his mom west to stay. Nell Berggren, who had was hoping to work out her more youthful son develop into a physician, or perhaps a dairy farmer, used to be nonetheless slightly embarrassed by means of her son’s strange but profitable collection of vocation. within the thirties and forties the United States rewarded its favourite radio stars handsomely, and her son’s salary—wisely invested in California land—far passed the profits of the health care professional she had dreamed he may develop into. He used to be perceived as particularly eccentric via these within the Hollywood neighborhood: a strange outsider, soft-spoken, polite—certainly for a show-biz type—a scholarly guy, now in his past due thirties, by no means married, who lived quietly and cleanly together with his mom and his dummy and whose inspiration of an ideal Saturday was once to stick domestic on my own and spend hours poring over his suitcases of outdated magic methods. He tended to be taciturn, uneasy and withdrawn; in each interview, it used to be continually Charlie who did the conversing. With W. C Fields and Don Ameche Charlie’s room via 1938, Edgar and Charlie’s recognition was once such that they bought a lion’s percentage of the radio viewers, their “Chase and Sanborn Hour” being the main commonly listened to teach within the eight to nine P. M. time slot on Sunday evenings. To rejoice their new number 1 position within the scores, Edgar and Charlie gave a dressing up celebration, educating site visitors to return “as your early life ambition. ” and they did: Edgar as a seventeenth-century magician in best hat, goatee and cape, Charlie in a sultan’s outfit with turban (and harem), Bob desire as a Keystone Kop, Bette Davis as a cancan woman, Tyrone energy as a pirate, Betty Grable as a abdominal dancer, Roz Russell as a Gibson lady and Dick Powell as a railroad conductor. With Marilyn Monroe Radio used to be via now so gigantic that it set the development for all different fields of leisure. Radio stars have been higher identified than such a lot degree and monitor stars, and Hollywood used to be paying huge sums to signal radio personalities like Bing Crosby, Bob wish, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, and Edgar Bergen for movies.

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