Time Travel: Check Out This 1980 College Lecture From Stephen King
Here's a blast from the past. An hour-and-a-half lecture from Stephen King has surfaced online.
Wish you could go back in time and learn from The King of Horror in the early days of his career? Well, the University of Georgia recently posted these gems to YouTube. Two videos feature Stephen King giving a lecture at the university in 1980.
In the first video, King humorously reminisces of when he first saw someone reading one of his books. While on a flight to Colorado, Stephen indulges in "five gin and tonics in about an hour" to sooth his fear of flying. After a trip to the bathroom, he notices a woman reading Carrie. In "an immensely clever drunken fashion, blowing gin in her face" King asks her "what do you think of that book?" The woman responds, "I think it's s****y."
More hilarity ensues when King fondly remembers the first time he was first recognized as "being famous." The author says he was having a bout of digestive sickness at a fancy restaurant when the unavoidable, and surely to be violent, trip to the men's room was necessary. In the swanky bathroom with no stall doors, King "takes a seat" only to be recognized by the washroom attendant who recently saw him on TV. "It just goes to prove, that God gets you. Because the only time you're really famous is when you prefer to not be, I think," King says.
The first video continues on with Bangor's famous resident speaking of the intricacies of writing the horror genre, origins of fear, his fear of the dark, and political tangents. Nearing the end, audience questions open with a doozy of an inquiry: What does King think of the movie The Shining? King eloquently explains the key points that where the 1980 film was lacking. We kind of expected a firestorm of an answer based on past statements made of the film by King.
Questions continue throughout the second video. "What book that you wrote is your favorite?" Short answer: Salem's Lot. King was asked how he feels about when his stories are changed around for films, and gives another unexpected answer: "I don't care." He explains that films have average a two-year life between the big screen, the summer drive-in circuit, cable TV run, followed by network TV.
"First of all, if it's a project that you're not involved with, you're in a no-lose situation. If they make a great movie, you can say 'that was based on my material.' They make a lousy one, you can say 'I didn't have anything to with it," King says. "Hamsters live longer [than movies.]" At the time, King reveals he had written the screenplay for the adaptation of The Stand, and was working on Creepshow with the late George A. Romero.
Questions roll on, including one King hadn't been asked before: "Who's the scariest character he wrote?" Short answer: Jack Torrance from The Shining. See the full responses in part 2 above.