Gore Vidal live

The writer knew how to court controversy on television. A collection of his most memorable appearances

Topics: Writers and Writing, Gore Vidal, Books, Television, Media, Media Criticism,

For more than 50 years, Gore Vidal was a constant guest in several of America’s most popular talk shows. From the Dick Cavett Show, where he verbally sparred with an increasingly drunk Norman Mailer, to his multiple appearances on Charlie Rose, Vidal craved for the attention that television and show business guaranteed. Salon presents a small selection of some notable onscreen appearances.

The memorable Dick Cavett Show featuring Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, and Janet Flanner:


During the 1968 Democratic Convention, Gore Vidal discussed the Vietnam War with William F. Buckley. After calling the conservative a “crypto-Nazi,” Buckley, now truly angry, retorted, “Now listen you queer, quit calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered”:


A discussion about Vidal’s book about Lincoln with Pat Buchanan and Thomas Braden eventually comes back to the Buckley affair:

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Vidal played Senator Brickley Paiste in the now (thankfully) forgotten movie “Bob Roberts:”


In an interview for the Ali G Show, an aging Vidal accepted Sacha Baron Cohen’s assigned role: the hairdresser Vidal Sassoon.


Vidal’s last interview with Charlie Rose:

Finally, Vidal’s thoughts on Paradise, Hell, and the afterlife:

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