Watch Brian Cox of “Succession” Read Hunter S. Thompson’s Profanity-Laden Letter

Bri­an Cox has maneu­vered over four decades of act­ing while remain­ing a bit anony­mous from one role to the next. Or at least that was the case until his star turn as Logan Roy, the sten­to­ri­an patri­arch at the cen­ter of HBO’s Suc­ces­sion. Now it is hard to sep­a­rate Cox from his char­ac­ter. His way of deliv­er­ing the deli­cious insults of the show’s scripts are both fright­en­ing and hilarious–as is his way of punc­tu­at­ing a scene with two sim­ple words: “Fuc& Off.”

Look, we try to keep swear­ing to a min­i­mum on this site, but Cox does won­ders with that phrase. Just watch one of the many super­cuts of Logan Roy say­ing it, and hear a mas­ter at work.

So the clip above, from a UK event series called Let­ters Live, shows why Cox is a per­fect fit to read Hunter S. Thompson’s let­ter to a cer­tain Dave Allen, direc­tor of pro­gram­ming at the writer’s local net­work affil­i­ate, KREX-TV. Allen had tak­en the CBS news off the local sta­tion, and Thomp­son was hav­ing none of it.

Thomp­son wrote many blis­ter­ing, pro­fan­i­ty-laden let­ters from his Col­orado home. The above was col­lect­ed in Hunter S. Thomp­son, Fear and Loathing in Amer­i­ca: The Bru­tal Odyssey of an Out­law Jour­nal­ist (Gonzo Let­ters, Vol­ume II, 1968–1976). Allen joins a list of recip­i­ents of Thompson’s ven­om that includes his edi­tor at Ran­dom House, Loren Jenk­ins of Newsweek, Paul Gor­man of WBAI-FM, and many oth­ers, most of whom owed him mon­ey for this or that writ­ing assign­ment.

Let­ters Live keeps its epis­tles short, and Bri­an Cox acts out Thompson’s short note, pour­ing con­tempt through every turn of phrase.

The pro­jec­t’s YouTube chan­nel offers many oth­er let­ters from his­to­ry, read by actors like Olivia Cole­man, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Stephen Fry, Matt Berry, Carey Mul­li­gan, Gillian Ander­son, Ian McK­ellen, and many more. It’s worth check­ing out, espe­cial­ly if his­tor­i­cal swear­ing is your thing.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hunter S. Thomp­son Writes a Blis­ter­ing, Over-the-Top Let­ter to Antho­ny Burgess (1973)

Hunter S. Thomp­son Calls Tech Sup­port, Unleash­es a Tirade Full of Fear and Loathing (NSFW)

Shake­speare­an Actor Bri­an Cox Teach­es Hamlet’s Solil­o­quy to a 2‑Year-Old Child

The His­to­ry of Ancient Greece in 18 Min­utes: A Brisk Primer Nar­rat­ed by Bri­an Cox

The Scotch Pro­nun­ci­a­tion Guide: Bri­an Cox Teach­es You How To Ask Authen­ti­cal­ly for 40 Scotch­es

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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