Reverend Billy Graham has died, aged 99. The conservative figure is not one that your writer agrees with on almost any topic, but he crossed paths with Woody Allen, in an interesting way. It is worth noting that story here for prosperity. It ties with an interview Allen did with Graham in 1969.
This clip comes from The Woody Allen Special from 1969. Allen was still best known for being a comedian, and was hosting late night TV. What a different world, if Allen had pursued this. He’s a good interviewer. Billy Graham was already famous, and controversial by this point.
The interesting part of this story was that this interview stuck in Allen’s head for decades. So much so that it inspired his 2010 film You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, 40 years later.
Allen was struck that neither men knew the answer, but Graham would be happier in his delusions, and Allen would be stuck with bleak realism. Allen said at a 2010 press conference:
“Even if he was 100 percent wrong, our lives would both be completed, and I would have had a miserable life, wallowing in a bleak outlook. And he would’ve had a wonderful life, confident that there was more.”
Allen took that into Gemma Jones’ character in You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, and played with that theme throughout. The whole film is about delusion, and it’s a theme Allen has played with before. But it’s pretty incredible that 40 years later, that 1969 interview stuck, and that Allen would still be talking about it. Watching that clip, it’s amazing that it would go on to inspire an entire film.