And so Zappadan rolls on. Frank Zappa performs “Black Napkins” from Zoot Allures on the Mike Freakin’ Douglas Show, 1976. In the second half of his appearance on the show, Zappa talks classical music and drugs with Mike Douglas, Jimmie Walker and Kenny Rogers. Douglas also screens a portion of A Token of His Extreme featuring Bruce Bickford’s striking clay animation.
It’s interesting to think that so much time would be accorded to Zappa, a third-tier guest who didn’t exactly blend in with the Mike Douglas audience. (The irony is that the clean-living workaholic Zappa may well have been the straightest guy on the show that afternoon.) I have to say I like the slower pace of the old talk shows, the way guests would mingle and chat with each other and, occasionally, say surprising and interesting things. The Leno-Letterman rat-a-tat-tat pace in which guests come on, hype their latest product, then hustle off is grating and annoying.