Jack Kerouac reads On the Road with Steve Allen

Video: Jack Kerouac on the Steve Allen Show, 1959

Haven’t seen this footage before. It’s pretty great even with the obnoxious watermark. I’m surprised it’s in color but Wikipedia tells me The Steve Allen Show started broadcasting in color in September 1957. Who knew!

The audio of this is included in The Jack Kerouac Collection box that came out in 1990 and most of that stuff has been reissued over the years in a variety of formats. I’ve always loved hearing Kerouac read, and it’s cool to be able to see him doing it.

Of all the Beats, Kerouac seemed the most gentle and sad, quietly observing the madmen he surrounded himself with. I read his collection of letters a while back, and it seems like all he really wanted to do in life was to read and drink and be taken care of my his mother. I can appreciate that.

Ten years after this footage was taped, Kerouac would be dead at age 47 from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by alcohol abuse.

Jack Kerouac: amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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