Richard Nixon: America's Greatest Celebrity
Everybody knows about Richard Nixon's bizarre 1968 appearance on the faux-hippie slapstick Laugh In show, but only the elderly and deranged know he also beat Bill Clinton to the "late-night talk-show musical performance" routine by three decades.
In 1992, Clinton secured the love of a fickle, stupid self-obsessed Baby Boom population by playing saxophone badly while long-forgotten host Arsenio Hall's crappy house band -- excuse us, his posse -- woodenly stomped through "Heartbreak Hotel." (Watch VH1 falsely claim Clinton was the first to try this stunt.) He wore sunglasses to hide the fact that he's reading sheet music, not because he's "cool."
Richard Nixon not only played music on a much better show -- Jack Paar's Tonight Show! -- but he performed his own piano composition on that 1962 broadcast, after losing the California governor's race to Pat Brown. Nixon also appeared on the beloved talk shows hosted by David Frost, Mike Douglas, Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin.
In Memoriam: Jack Paar [PBS News Hour]