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Truman Capote on the Sonny and Cher Show

Truman Capote on the Sonny and Cher Show

August 1973: Novelist Truman Capote, left, plays Lord Nelson in a comedy sketch with Sonny and Cher.

Los Angeles Times columnist Cecil Smith reported in the Aug. 22, 1973, edition:

Novelist Truman Capote has been in Hollywood playing (of all things) comedy sketches at CBS on the Sonny & Cher Show….

Capote was called onstage to play the British admiral doing battle with the French. In his most piping screech, he yelled: “Where’s the mizzen mast?” To which a sailor shrugged: “I don’t know. How long has it been mizzen?”

I was curious as to what motivates a writer of the stature of Capote, certainly one of the most important literary figures of the century, to play the fool for the glory of toilet bowl and armpits and other objects sacred to television.

“I’ve always liked Sonny and Cher,” said Capote over some dry Manhattans at the Hotel Bel-Air. “I’ve never done anything like this and I thought it might be fun.”

“I suppose I did it because I was asked.”

This photo by former Times staff photographer Cal Montney was published on the Aug. 22, 1973, View section front page.

This skit was broadcast Oct. 3, 1973, on CBS.

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