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VIDEO: Jack Kerouac’s swan song on ‘Firing Line’

LitNerd Extra!

It’s a bit sad to see Jack Kerouac in the last few years of his life bitter, misunderstood and drunk a good chunk of the time. Since the release of On the Road in 1957, the media’s whole “King of the Beatniks” shtick wore down the naturally shy writer, alcohol almost a sad necessity to cope. Making matters worse, by the late 60s he couldn’t be more different from the youth culture. In 1968, joined by Ed Sanders and Lewis Yablonsky, a professor of sociology and criminology, he gave what was probably his last on-screen interview on conservative blow-hard William F. Buckley’s show Firing Line. The topic — making sense of the hippie movement. Though visibly drunk, some of his answers are surprisingly lucid, especially when it comes to the media’s misconception of his work.

Below is the show in its entirety so settle in and enjoy Kerouac’s sodden eye rolling, casual interrupting and his theory that the Vietnam War was created to sell jeeps.

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