Today marks the 100th birthday of beat writer William S. Burroughs (1914-1997). Grab a bottle of wine … preferably cheap wine … and let’s travel back to November 7, 1981. That’s when Burroughs made his first appearance on American national television. And quite appropriately, it was on the irreverent, late-night comedy show, Saturday Night Live. As you’ll see, actress Lauren Hutton made the introduction, setting up Burroughs to read from Naked Lunch (1959) and Nova Express (1964). The clip itself is an outtake from the opening scene of Burroughs, a 1983 documentary by Howard Brookner, which is currently getting restored. We originally featured this video back in early 2012. Since then we’ve brought you many other intriguing posts on Burroughs, whose life and art provides so much to talk about. See some of our favorites below:
If you’d like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.