Gore Vidal's Wittiest TV Appearances


Gore Vidal once said, "I never miss an opportunity to have sex or appear on television."  Before apathy and old age beseeched the once virile Vidal, he didn't. His appearances along side William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer are legendary. His cantankerous charm and acerbic wit led Johnny Carson to offer him a spot as a guest host of "The Tonight Show." Vidal was a grand icon of the 'greatest generation' a title for which he lived up to yet could shrug off with a well placed sentence. The author, playwright and historian may have been as he claims, "the last of a breed." In our misanthropic age of anti-intellectualism, great thinkers rarely become public figures. The masses care more about Kim Kardashian's ass than the thoughts of a well-read old man. Even the educated audiences of the day only give noted authors and thinkers six minutes of cable television to make their point. When Vidal had a chance to speak his mind in public he did so brilliantly, with unforgettable character.

In the years to come these TV appearances may get pushed to the bottom of the digital heap. They may fall victim to historical amnesia, a term Vidal often made use of, but they will always be top-shelf in the less frequented corners of the internet, like this blog.

Part 1 of a three part documentary. Click through the below clip to watch parts 2 & 3.