My favorite Paul Lynde anecdote:
In the early 1960s, Lynde was on trans-continental flight. A child was not being supervised by her parents & was running up & down the aisle making noise & annoying the other passengers. The mother obviously thought this behavior was precious. When Lynde could take no more of the child's shenanigans, he rose from his seat & approached the mother & stated: "Madam. if you don't control your child this instant, I will have to fuck her."
Lynde was one of the first personalities that I identified as gay when I was a child. I thought his way with a salty one liner & his unique delivery was just too funny. I loved him in the film of Bye Bye Birdie, in a role he originated on Broadway. He was only just barely a closet case with his camp & snarky demeanor & delivery.In 1965, Lynde was involved in an accident in which his 24 year old lover, fell 8 stories to his death from the window of their hotel room in San Francisco's Sir Francis Drake Hotel after a night of drinking games. The event was witnessed by a pair of policemen, but the story was largely kept out of the press. In 1976, a People magazine article on Lynde featured him with Stan Finesmith, his “chauffeur/bodyguard.” In 1978, Lynde was arrested outside of a gay bar in Salt Lake City. After the arrest, he lost his guest starring role on The Donny & Marie Show.
Peter Marshall: “Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?”
Paul Lynde: “Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.”
Peter Marshall: “What's the one thing you should never do in bed?”
Paul Lynde: “Point & laugh!”
Peter Marshall: "In The Wizard Of Oz, the Tin Man wanted a heart, & the Lion wanted courage. What did the Straw Man want?”
Paul Lynde: “He wanted the Tin Man to notice him.”
Peter Marshall: “At a recent hearing, opponents of fluorinated water claim that when it is in in a person's system it can cause an uncontrollable desire for sex.”
Paul Lynde: “HEY, CULLIGAN MAN!”
Peter Marshall: “Paul, any good sailor knows that when a man falls off a ship you yell 'Man overboard!' What should you shout if a woman falls overboard?”
Paul Lynde: “Full speed ahead!”
Peter Marshall: “What is said to be wasted on the young?”
Paul Lynde: “A whipping.”
Lynde was club performer, director, recording artist, actor on Broadway, in films, TV, cartoons & summer stock, & one of Hollywood's finest chefs & hosts. Lynde: “I can't even get 3 weeks off to have cosmetic surgery!”
Lynde spent a lifetime engaged in ongoing personal struggles in private life, as the tabloids occasionally reported, but he remained appreciated by those in his profession, friends & fans. He was perhaps most famous just for being Paul Lynde.The enigmatic Lynde: “I don't know who the hell Paul Lynde is, or why he's funny, & I prefer it to be a mystery to me. An actor shouldn't undergo psychoanalysis, because there are a lot of things you're better off not knowing.”
Lynde was found dead in his Beverly Hills home by his friend Paul Barresi on Monday, January 11, 1982. He was just 55 years old. Lynde enjoyed a precarious life of men, drinking & partying.