Will Rogers & American Politics

Moving Image
Created: 2010
Really XD-CAM HD. Need to correct record when dropdown is updated.


Will Rogers & American Politics
Summary: "Politics dominate the headlines. Democrats and Republicans bicker and posture. Taxes, a poor economy and unemployment are on everyone's minds. We could be talking about today's problems, but we are not. It is the 1930's and our nation is on the brink of war, millions of U.S. citizens are hungry or homeless and the future looks bleak. Who do the nation's people turn to for clarity and comfort? Not their preacher, nor their banker and not even the President of the United States. Instead they turned to...Will Rogers.

"'Will Rogers & American Politics' is an in-depth look at how a rope twirling, plain talking Cherokee cowboy became one of the most powerful political voices in America.

"We feel this work meets the Peabody Award's documentary requirements by taking a close look at one of America's first political and entertainment super stars. His words and musings influenced the American political landscape in the 1920s and 1930s and still have an effect on our political system today.

"The production highlights Rogers' influence and political power as revealed through the eyes and words of great Americans such as Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Mickey Rooney, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith, comedian Lewis Black and many others.

"When Will Rogers talked, the White House, Congress and all of America listened. He was a king maker and a deal breaker. The nation looked to him for comfort and common sense during difficult times.

"Will was also the nation's first superstar. He headlined in Vaudeville, conquered the radio airwaves, and was America's most read columnist. During his lifetime, he starred in 71 movies, published more than two million words, raised thousands of dollars for charity, and traveled around the globe three times -- meeting people, covering wars, talking about peace and learning everything possible.

"Inside himself, Will Rogers remained a simple Oklahoma cowboy. 'I never met a man I didn't like,' was his credo of genuine love and respect for humanity and all people everywhere. His deepest connection was with the American people -- not the rich and famous, but the millions of ordinary folk who read his columns and gathered by the radio for his broadcasts. They saw in him what they hoped was in themselves: common sense, belief in hard work, skepticism about the powerful, and a biting good humor delivered with a shy, sly smile.

"The documentary is the culmination of 18 months of dedicated work by one of the smallest Public Television stations in the nation, RSU Public Television. Hours of rare archival film footage, 15,000 photos and 18,000 documents were carefully analyzed and screened with the most appropriate and poignant being incorporated into the production. The production team traveled to Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, Louisiana and across Oklahoma to interview individuals with ties to or special knowledge of Will Rogers. Bill Kurtis, award-winning producer and journalist, narrated the documentary."--2010 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: RSU Public Television | KRSC-TV (Television station : Claremore, Okla.)

Persons Appearing: Bill Kurtis (Narrator)

Broadcast Date: 2010-11-30