Path Home Shows 2017 Show Archive May 2017 Show 1719 Will Roberts: Renaissance Man

Will Roberts: Renaissance Man

Actor and comedian Will Roberts is a man of many talents who credits Oklahoma’s favorite son Will Rogers as his inspiration.
Will Roberts: Renaissance Man

Will Roberts: Renaissance Man

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Will Roberts

Show Details

Show 1719: Will Roberts: Renaissance Man
Air Date: May 7, 2017

 

Transcript

Rob McClendon: Well, if you are a longtime viewer of our show, you may remember our friend Will Roberts.

[NATS].

Rob: Since doing his weekly commentary here on “Horizon,” Will has been a bit busy. In addition to his rope tricks and fast draw gunplay, the humorist has been spending a lot of time on stage and screen. And when not shooting a movie or getting named the fastest gun in the west by the BBC, Roberts still likes to visit the museum of Oklahoma’s favorite son and his inspiration, Will Rogers.

Will Roberts: By far my favorite thing to do while in Oklahoma is to go to Claremore, Oklahoma, the birthplace of humorist Will Rogers. So today let’s do a tour of the Will Rogers Memorial here in Claremore, Oklahoma, and see what we can see about the man, the myth, the legend and a darn funny guy. Here we go. This memorial was built in 1938 and houses the most spectacular memorabilia of humorist Will Rogers from his vaudeville days to his days as a cowboy and his radio days and his amazing career as the world’s most beloved humorist and friend. So one of the things you have to do when you’re here at the memorial, you’ve got to take a look at this statue. It’s an amazing statue of Will Rogers. And hey, more importantly, you’ve got to rub the foot for good luck. Or maybe both for twice the good luck. In the 1920s and ’30s, Will was so popular that it was not an event if Will didn’t speak at it. All right, so now we’re in the radio room. One of Will’s biggest accomplishments was radio. I will tell you that if you go to willrogers.com, you can probably find some of the audios there.

Will Rogers: Don’t get scared and start turning off your radio now. I’m not advertising or trying to sell you anything. If the mouthwash you’re using is not the right kind, and it tastes sort of like sheep dip, why, you’ll just have to go right on using it. I can’t advise any other kind at all.

Will Roberts: One of the greatest displays at the memorial is the miniatures. Amazingly crafted and detailed scenes of Will Rogers’ life and his career. OK, so this is the movie theater. Well, it is one of the movie theaters. There’s another large one down at the end. We’ll check it out later. But this is a cool one. It’s a neat little sitting space to see some of Will Rogers’ movies, and Will Rogers did over 70 films in his lifetime. That’s a lot of them. But the one most notable film that every roper or cowfolk loves is “Roping Fool.” Check it out on Google or go to willrogers.com and see if they have reference to it. Amazing stuff that you can do with a rope, but amazing film, and it was really put together just to show Will’s roping foolness and what he can do with a rope and some of the most amazing things that have ever been done with a rope and still to this day have not been done. Check it out. So let’s go back to viewing some of the movies that Will Rogers did. You guys got popcorn? You’re going to need some.

[Music].

Will Roberts: This great theater is host to special events, movie viewings and memorial celebrations. You can go to the website to get more information. One of my favorite things is to come outside and into the courtyard or I should say the grounds. And this time of year, it is just a spectacular view. Of course when the snow is laying it is amazing as well, but a lot colder. But the good thing about right now is you’ve got that Oklahoma sun on your face, you’ve got a beautiful smell, and you have such a site. Traveling through Oklahoma is one of my favorite things to do, but sitting here in this area where Will and his family are laid to rest is probably one of the most peaceful things that I have ever done. The beauty is amazing, the history is amazing, and it is what makes Oklahoma amazing. And you’ll ask anybody that is very true Oklahoman what they think is the pride and joy of Oklahoma, and I bet you a lot of them will still say their favorite son, Will Rogers. Well, that’s it. Will Rogers Memorial here in Claremore, Oklahoma. If you want more information go to willrogers.com. So I brought my rope because coming to the Will Rogers Memorial and not bringing your rope and spinning it, if you spin, is a little bit like going to the Statue of Liberty and sitting at the bottom and waving and not going to the top. So on the way out here, I’m going to spin my rope. This is for you, Will, and, of course ,my dear friend Doris Kochmeyer. Here we go.