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What's Bugging You?' Quips Jean Shepherd
Airdate: Friday - May 20, 1960

Last Update: 04-22-2017

Show Description
Jean Shepherd spoke on "What's Been Bugging You" Wednesday night in the Colton Memorial Chapel. The noted humorist turned his overcritical eye on Easton, the U-2, Jack Paar, the "truth" about liberal arts, tunnel tools and how to avoid them, the achievement of masculinity, the truth, and the writing of a best-seller. 'Glad' To Be In Easton "Shep" said that he's glad to be back in Easton because it reaffirms his belief that man is making absolutely no progress at all. "You can hear the cattle low in the distance. You can hear the natives low in the distance. At Lafayette you have the feeling of being completely isolated from the world. Easton cannot be reality," he said. He applauded the modernization of Route 22. "It's now being paved with Robert Hall Stores instead of pizza palaces." Writes Non-existent Book Shepherd is the illustrious author of a completely non-existent book, "I, Libertine", authored by an equally non-existent author, Frederick Ewing. This was done in response to the growing complaints that all "best-seller lists are phonies." It was decided to test this theory in the book-publishing market, he said. The day after Shepherd's call for a crusade for "I, Libertine", the Shepherd underground went into action. Thousands of people actually went into their bookstores adamantly demanding a copy of "I, libertine." Chaos ensued. The booksellers frantically called the distributors. The distributors called the publishers. Nobody wanted to admit that they had never heard of such a "famous" book. It became a much talked about new book in America. Six weeks later it even made the N.Y. Times Bestseller list, and was censored by many authorities, including a church, as being "unfit to read." A Rutgers student handed in a theme on "I, Libertine" and got a 'B plus' . Later Writes Book Shepherd later cashed in on what has been culled "one of the greatest hoaxes of the 20th Century" by actually writing a book called "I, Libertine." It sold 390,000 copies. A major portion of Shepherd's speech was concerned with his denunciation of the tendency of people to think that they alone have a corner on the truth. The U-2 incident shows how foolish this assumption is, according to Shepherd. "Russia is as afraid of the truth as we are. The U.S. was afraid to admit that they would do such a thing. Rus-sia was afraid to admit that they could do such a thing. The popular jouster against the hypocrisies of our times maintained that truth is faddish and that what is true today will be false tomorrow. "Look at Chessman," he charged. "One hundred years ago nobody would have thought twice about stringing him up. Now many of us, even myself, deplore it. It's because I'm a creature of my time." The coming of a dictator in America was predicted. "Nobody believes in anything; they want a person to believe in. They're looking for security," he suggested. New Bravery Shepherd said that this is the age of the hero. He told how people are not fighting against capital punishment, but rather are fighting for Caryl Chessman. The new standard for bravery under fire is how a man behaves when he is caught out without his Diner's Club card. Masculinity is shown when hailing a taxicab, he quipped. The head-thumping virtuoso told of his desire to teach a liberal-arts course. He would call it "How Things Really Are, 1-2." It would only be open to the bottom 1/3 of each class. All they would do would sit behind closed doors and snicker out loud. He predicted that the upper 2/3 of the class would break down the doors within a week for fear that they had been found out. Shepherd commented that we all fear that everyone else is enjoying life, but we aren't. He alleged that this was the reason that Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham are so successful. "Peale relieves us by giving total reassurance from the world's problems, while Graham gives us the anxiety and fear which we think we have anyway. Shepherd concluded to his followers that they should make sure that their family "didn't drink Pepsi Cola." "Would you want your mother to be a socialable!" he asked.
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May 20,1960
The Lafayette

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

Airdate History ' - Original' date is earliest known broadcast)
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