Following is the transcript of the State of the Culture address President Carter might have delivered to a Joint Session of Congress :
Thank you very much.
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the 96th Congress. [Applause.] Last year, you'll remember -- at least those of you who were reelected will remember [titters] -- I came before you to report that the cultural life of the country looked healthy and vigorous. This year I say "Ditto," and then some. [Applause.] I'm talking television. I'm talking movies, music, books, the works.
[Loud clapping; stomping of feet.]
Starting with television, this has been a year of trial and triumph. When Mr. Fred Silverman moved from ABC to NBC, we -- and here I'm speaking for Rosalynn as well [applause] -- we felt tht ABC was going to go down the tubes, [president giggles; bewildered applause] especially when Mr. Silverman charged right in and brought NBC "Grandpa Goes to Washington" and "Man Undercover" starring David Cassidy. [Shouts of "Bravo."] But I am very happy to say that ABC boundced back not only with "Taxi," but also with the incomparable "Mork and [cheers; president smiles broadly, waiting for shouts to abate] Mindy." [Exuberant laughter.] CBS has held up its end of the industry with "Kaz" and "The Incredible Hulk." [Sustained applause.] And on public television, I need only mention that great mini-series, "The Bastard," [president looks slyls aside] which I watched with my brother, Billy. [Hoots, cheers; president blushes.]
In the world of music, it's hard to sound anything but happy notes. Among the groups, our foreign competitors, Chic, ABBA and Foxy are still giving us the needle. [Polite chuckles; shouts of "Bee Gees Go Home."] But when it comes to individual artists, there's no country in the world that can match Billy Joel's "My Life." [Congressmen begin to hum and clap rhythmically, as Rep. Daniel J. Flood sings, "Go ahead with your own life, and leave me alone."] For me personally, no one has meant more than Chuck Mangione, who, as some of you know, accompanied me at the Camp David talks. [Applause; opening bars of "Feelin' So Good" are piped over the P.A. system.] And as for Barry Manilow, [Mr. Manilow acknowledges hurrahs from balcony] what can one say but "Can't Smile Without you." [Squeals, whistles; Mr. Manilow waves to the president, sits.]
When we think of music, naturally we think of that great disco sound; and when we think of that great disco sound -- [congressmen start to holler and clap in anticipation] when we think of "Saturday Night Fever," [standing ovation] we think of Mr. John Trav... [president's voice is drowned out by cheers] the newest and brightest movie star in the galaxy. This has been yet another year when movies are better than ever. Not only have we had "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Moment by Moment," [applause] but also "Jaws II," the remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" [shouts of "Bring on 'The Blob,'"] and the delightful "Animal House," a great favorite with my staff. [Laughter; shouts of "Ham."]
Superman is one of this year's national celebrities. And here I'd like to mention some of our other national celebrities, whose perpetual presence on talk shows, tributes and benefits adds so much to our cultural life. I'm thinking of Ed MacMahon, Charles Nelson Reilly and Joe Namath, for starters. [Applause.] And for stoppers -- show stoppers, that is [president grins] -- Miss Angie Dickinson, [yells, whistles] known affectionately -- and is there any other way? [shouts of "Whoopee"] -- as "The Body That Won't Quit." One other body who won't quit is Mr. Henry Kissinger, without whose face no gala or cocktail party could ever have any meaning. Henry? [Mr. Kissinger appears live on a television screen suspended from the ceiling, in the company of Mr. Hugh Hefner of Chicago, and an unidentified young woman dressed as a rabbit.]
In a way, this has been a disappointing year for books, what with no new novel from Erica Jong. [Sigh.] Still, we have had the unforgettable "Mommie Dearest." [Cries of "Down with Mildred Pierce."] And the White House itself has been responsible for some mighty fine literary works. From prior administrations we have had "RN" and "The Ends of Power." [Catcalls, Sen. Richard Schweiker abstaining.] And there is Mrs. Ford's new book, [applause] along with Sheila Weidenfeld's. [Cries of "Shame."] In our own neck of the woods, I am proud to point to my sister Ruth's "Brother Billy" -- the book, that is. [Good-natured laughter.] And there's "Away From Home" by my mother, who is, as often as possible. And plenty more. [Applause; several placards are raised bearing titles, "Cousin Beedie and Cousin Hot" and "This Too Shall Pass."]
As for art, Jamies wyeth and Andy Warhol remain at the top of the heap. [Applause.] And while we're on heaps, I take special pride in drawing your attention to the proposed statue of Albert Einstein, a great American, soon to be erected here in Washington. The sculptor, Robert Berks, is the man who gave us the bust in the Kennedy Center. [Mr. Berks rises in the balcony. He is a swarthy man in his 50s, approximately 75 feet in height, and four tons in weight; his face appears to be covered with chewing gum.]
Of course, no State of the Culture message would be complete without hailing the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities, whose clear-eyed cultural policies have meant so much to the country during the past year. As the foundation has so often said: We must cast the best to the most without slighting the least; we must get the most out of the worst, posthaste; and last but not least, we must test the gist of the best, at low cost, so that the last will be first, and Liszt will not be lost. [Three hours of clapping; cries of "New Foundation."]