Like most members of my generation, I only really knew George Plimpton from his days as spokesperson for Intellivision, the Atari competitor that promised “lifelike” graphics back when “lifelike” meant “slightly more articulated blobs of pixels than those other guys’ blobs of pixels.” (Um. Yeah. Maybe things haven’t changed so much since then. Anyway). I also knew, vaguely, that he had something to do with the Paris Review.
Then, this morning, I ran across this Kickstarter video, posted by documentarians who are making a movie about the guy, where I learned that, among about a million other things, he:
- was the first editor to publish Jack Kerouac, Philip Roth, and Jay McInerney
- quarterbacked for the Detroit Lions
- sparred in the boxing ring with light heavyweight champ, Archie Moore
- played goalie for the Boston Bruins
- pitched to Willie Mays at Yankee Stadium
- played alongside Bill Russell in the Boston Celtics
- drove in the Baha 500
- performed under Leonard Bernstein in the New York Philharmonic
- photographed centerfolds for Playboy Magazine
- wrestled the motherfucking gun out of Bobby Kennedy’s assassin’s hands
Yeah, okay, all of those (except, presumably, the last one) were publicity stunts. But still. And everything. I mean: this, my friends, was a true and completely fulfilled geek life. I thought I was special because I once shook the hand of the guy who played RD-D2 in the original trilogy at San Diego Comic-Con!
If I’ve piqued your interest in this early prototype for the latter-day intellectual media geek (by which I mean you, and me), have a look at the Kickstarter campaign, and maybe consider donating. They need money to license clips from copyright holders.