TV’s Poet Laureate

Spanking a child to get him to learn / Is something I cannot defend.
How can you knock any sense in his head / When you’re whacking him on the wrong end?
—Nipsey Russell

Julius “Nipsey” Russell (1918–2005) was an American comedian, poet, and dancer best known for his appearances as a panelist on game shows from the 1960s through the 1990s, such as Match Game, Password, Hollywood Squares, and To Tell the Truth. He was known for his short, humorous poems he would recite, which led to him being known as “The poet laureate of television”. (Photo: Russell in 1977 in a publicity photo for The Love Boat, via ABC)


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