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Billy Graham is Interviewed by Woody Allen

This is a delightful 1969 interview between Woody Allen and Billy Graham.  It is an amazingly cheerful discourse between two men with opposing points of view. It seems today that this tone of interview would be unlikely to find due to of the cultural tension surrounding Christianity in the public square.

This  nine minute-plus interview is currently archived at the Bill Paley Center for Media in both New York City and Los Angeles. However, if you can’t make it down to the Paley Center, do watch the Billy Graham interview above, and see what intelligent televised discourse looked like.

There was probably not a more influential evangelical pastor in America at the time then Billy Graham. He was revered by many and stayed above the political scenario which was probably to the benefit of the gospel he preached.

1969 was a big year for Woody Allen. He had just written, directed and starred in the movie, Take The Money And Run , he was appearing on Broadway in a play he wrote entitled Play It Again, Sam and to top it all off, on September 21, on CBS, America was treated to The Woody Allen Special, a one-time only oddity that hasn’t been seen since.

A  strange combination of elements, The Woody Allen Special was a variety show in every sense of the word. The oddity included skits with Candace Bergen and performances from The Fifth Dimension.

But strangest of all is this cheerful Woody interview with the Reverend Billy Graham. Anyone who knows the work of Woody Allen understands that he has focused on the key questions of life. There probably could not have better guest for the answering of those questions than Graham.

Both men were on their game yet I can’t recall so many smiles in a discourse on God, Sin, Life and Death.


Woody Allen