Video history: The Mike Wallace Interview


In a varied career that including stints as actor, announcer, game show host, and, in his most significant role as correspondent for 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace hosted The Mike Wallace Interview, a thirty-minute 68-episode ABC Sunday night broadcast that ran from 1957 to 1960.

While his revealing questioning of Ayn Rand makes for his best-known episode, we especially liked his interview of Aldous Huxley.

We add two more segements to our posts, each with a transitional figure

Mike Wallace interviews Rod Serling, 1959

Serling was and best known for When Wallace interviewed Serling, a seminal figure in the history of TV drama, the writer/producer was just launching The Twilight Zone, an anthology of fantasy and science fiction featuring some superb writing and memorable acting.

Whast 60 Minutes was to TV magazine shows, Twilight Zone was to drama, both a template for future shows and a springboard for a remarkable range of talent.

Serling has a lot to say about commercial television, and one memorable moment is the rendition of the time he was forced to drop the mention of gas in a story about the Holocaust because a sponsor manufactured gas ranges.

Mike Wallace interviews Erich Fromm, 25 June 1958

Erich Fromm represents a directoion not taken by mainstream psychiatry. A German Jew, he was a member of the Frankfurt School, a remarkable assemblage of thinkers that included the seminal media critic and socialist Walter Benjamin and political philosophers Herbert Marcuse and Theodore Adorno.

From the transcript:

WALLACE:  This is Dr. Erich Fromm, one of the most influential psychoanalysts in the world.  A man whose work has been hailed as a significant step forward from the theories of Sigmund Freud.

WALLACE:  Recently, Dr. Fromm said: “There has never been a better society than in the United States in 1958, but …”  He added, “if the United States goes on in the direction it is now taking, it is in serious danger of destroying itself.” We’ll find out why in a moment.

>snip<

FROMM: Well, Mr. Wallace, I would say, if I would put it generally, because in our enthusiasm to dominate nature and to produce more material good – goods — we have transformed means into ends.   We’ve wanted to produce more in the 19th century and the 20th century in order to give man the possibility for more dignified human life; but actually what has happened  is that production and consumption have become means — have ceased to be means and have become ends, and we are production crazy and consumption crazy.

More interviews here.

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2 responses to “Video history: The Mike Wallace Interview

  1. Erich Fromm in 1958 sounds prophetic…

  2. Important interview from Erich Fromm.

    This interview is relevant even in 2013.

    Americans leave it to Government

    Nanny State and Mayor Bloomberg predicted….

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