VD Blues #2

A program aimed at younger viewers informing them of the dangers of and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, hosted by Dick Cavett.

00:00Copy video clip URL “Play for Germs”: A skit written by Israel Horovitz in which James Coco plays Socrates the Gonorrhea Germ and Robert Drives plays Aristotle the Syphilis Germ inside a uterus. The tape begins mid-sketch, as a penicillin shot defeats both germs. 

01:54Copy video clip URL A brief sketch in which a woman rehearses telling her sexual partner that she has been diagnosed with “a dose.” He arrives and informs her that he’s got “a dose” and that she needs to cure herself with a shot of penicillin. 

02:52Copy video clip URL Host Dick Cavett returns, discussing the history of xenophobic responses to syphilis. 

03:30Copy video clip URL Karen Wyman sings “What Am I Gonna Do?,” written by Fred Ebb and John Kander

06:30Copy video clip URL Cavett returns: “All a lot of men know about VD is what they learned in the army, so let’s take a little trip down memory lane to that wonderful war, World War II.” He discusses three VD advisory posters and then introduces a training film from World War I. 

07:00Copy video clip URL Jaunty music plays over footage from an old training film with intertitles such as “A dose of clap will make a bum out of any hero” and “Have you kissed an immoral woman recently?”

07:38Copy video clip URL Cavett returns to discuss the recent history of treatment for syphilis and gonorrhea, emphasizing the need to visit a doctor to treat them. 

08:26Copy video clip URL A “simulated documentary” about an African-American woman (Karen Wyman) struggling to navigate the medical system to receive treatment for a venereal disease. A “simulated documentary” written by Clayton Riley, directed by Stan Lathan, with Kris Keiser, Earl Sydnor, Sati, Susan Batson, Yvonne Warden, and Valerie Mamches. 

13:45Copy video clip URL Cavett returns to “kill some myths” about venereal disease, and to discuss the ways in which they can and cannot be spread. 

16:10Copy video clip URL Arlo Guthrie performs “Child of VD,” a previously-unpublished song written by his father Woody Guthrie. 

18:45Copy video clip URL Cavett returns to discuss controversy about the reporting of the disease to public health authorities and then ends the program. 

21:22Copy video clip URL Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show perform “Don’t Give a Dose to the One You Love Most,” written by Shel Silverstein.  

24:33Copy video clip URL Credits. 




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