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Airdate: Friday - March 22, 1968

Show Description
"There is a whole crowd of people who never see the first ten minutes of anything" observed Jean Shepherd as he explained to the backstage gang his reasons for beginning his show ten minutes late. At about five minutes after eight, the audience began to grow restless with anticipation, and at Shep's specified time, Dennis Lynch, chairman of the CLUB lecture series who sponsored his appearance, approached the lecturn and sadly announced that "Mr. Shepherd flatly refused to appear when he discovered that Montclair State was in New Jersey." Amid knowing laughs and disappointed boos, Jean Shepherd, fraudulently announced as John Gambling, walked onto the Memorial Auditorium stage, and with outstretched arms, gestured for more applause. The relieved audience gladly responded. Applause and cheering interrupted the so-called "lecture" dozens of times, as the devoted crowd savored the childhood philosophizing delivered as only Shep could. For over three hours, Flick, Schwartz, Little Mae Wilson, Helen Weathers, and the other characters so familiar to his regular listeners paraded across the stage, hollering, stripping, laughing, swearing, and picking their noses - in short, being real people. In a back-stage interview, Shepherd commented on the program: "My actor's ego may be showing, but I feel I said more about how things really are out there than all the plays now on Broadway." This reporter and, judging by their reaction during the program the audience, also, added a mental "amen". On stage Shepherd seems very sarcastic, but off stage he is a fascinating person with whom to talk. He is accommodating and willing to answer any questions, and his famous ability to convey his thoughtful observations allows him to dominate a discussion and hold his listener's interest. He is willing to autograph anything from a matchbook to a piece of looseleaf paper, and probably would have talked into the wee hours, if Life Hall had not had to close.
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