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Paul Coates -- Confidential File, March 14, 1959

March 14, 2009 |  2:00 pm


Mash Notes and Comments

Paul_coates"Dear Coatsee--

"This week OSCAR will be taping the OSCAR LEVANT show. We think this is an occasion worth noting and celebrating.

"It has been a wonderful and dramatic year for the multitudes of LEVANT fans:

"We can remember with fond smiles the first day he appeared with KCOP. The show was later at night and it was so cold you could build igloos out of your frosty breath, but people came in droves to see the fabulous man.

"Remember the time OSCAR took the sponsor's word for it and threw the 'unbreakable' radio on the floor, only to have it fly into two parts?

"Remember OSCAR distributing daily piles of lye, grease and ink on the floor to mop up for the linoleum sponsor?

1959_0314_mirror_cover "Remember how the camera rushed over to capture the intriguing sight of OSCAR with his head hidden under the shade of a gigantic lamp another sponsor was displaying?

"Remember once, during a commercial, when one of the huge backdrop pieces fell over and missed hitting him on the head by not more than an inch? . . ." (signed) Some of OSCAR'S Fans, Maggie Rose, Rita Carter, ShirleySiegel, Diane White. 

-- It missed him? Seems to me SOMETHING must have hit him on the head.

* *

"Mr. Paul Coates,

"Recently you wrote about being in the hospital for a check-up. A doctor once asked me, 'How long since you had a check-up?'

"I told him, 'I never had one.'

"Trouble with you is that you have been placed in the wrong economic bracket by the doctors. If you had been Bill Jones, a garbage collector, the doctors would not find a thing wrong with you.

"The doctors have made the wrong diagnosis of your financial status. Don't try to fool me. You must follow your destiny and you better like it.

"Send $2.00 for complete horoscope and analysis." (signed) Gordon Stuart, 1015 Galloway Street, Pacific Palisades.

-- Sorry. One check-up a year is all I can afford.

* *

1959_0314_duncan"Dear Sir:

"If making money doesn't interest you, this letter won't either.

"I'm writing on the assumption that you and your firm are in business for profit. And that you intend to be next year, the year after, and the years after that -- adinfinitum. 

"That's Fortune Magazine's intention, too.

"Does that mean that money is your, and our, only reason for doing our respective jobs as well as we can?

"We'll risk a categorical 'No' for both of us, trusting you go along with Churchill's dictum, 'Never do anything for money alone.'

"Don't even take us up on this extraordinary offer just because it represents a substantial saving under Fortune's regular rate. But if I can convince you that Fortune can help you do -- or fill -- a better job, you'll never find a better buy than this:

"Eight months of Fortune for only $5.

"AND, along with your subscription you will receive -- at absolutely no extra cost to you -- a copy of a truly remarkable book. 'The Exploding Metropolis.'

"A bargain no matter how you look at it. From your point of view: you get $10 --a-year, $1.25-a-copy Fortune at the exceptionally low rate of only 63 cents an issue.

". . . if you subscribe NOW you can be sure of receiving the next eight issues for the small outlay of only $5.

"Your signature on the enclosed card will bring you:

"Eight months of Fortune plus 'The Exploding Metropolis' both for only $5. This offer must be withdrawn shortly. So please airmail your order card TODAY." (signed) David Forrest, Fortune Magazine.

-- Are you sure you're not in this for the money?