Conrad Hilton's Advice to the American People
If you've been watching Mad Men lately, you've seen a fictionalized version of Conrad Hilton, the hotelier and great-grandfather of Paris Hilton. The "Connie" Hilton seen on Mad Men is quite eccentric (even loony at times), though the real-life character was apparently motivated mainly by his experience in the Great Depression, his Catholic faith, and his deep commitment to charity. (Though yeah, he arguably might have wanted a Hilton Hotel on the moon.) Anyway, my friend Will Maier was reading Herzog on Herzog, a book of interviews with our favorite German director, and came across the passage pictured above. I dug a little deeper into the story. In some cases, Hilton's advice is said to have been delivered from his death-bed, but I found the real story at Anecdotage.com. Hilton did indeed urge Americans to pay careful heed to the position of their shower curtains...but those were not his last words. Here's what Anecdotage.com has to say (I have bolded the relevant passage):
While appearing as a guest on "The Tonight Show" one evening, famed hotelier Conrad Hilton was asked by his host (Johnny Carson) whether he had a "message" for the American people.
With great gravity, Hilton paused momentarily before turning to the camera. "Please," he pleaded, "put the shower curtain inside the tub!"
[These are sometimes said to have been his last words.]
You can also check out some more conventional quotes attributed to Conrad Hilton at Woopidoo. You can also check out the aforementioned Will Maier doing his Herzog impression in Auto Maintenance With Werner (Special Guests Joaquin Phoenix and Klaus Kinski).