Watch Hunter S. Thompson on 1967 TV game show "To Tell The Truth"


Originally published at:


This game should be called “spot the weirdo”


I totally can dig the vibe that was going down, Daddy Os & Mammas.


they seem to have picked him correctly because he was so meek and mild and therefore, to them, “writerly” but my guess is that he was stoned as hell.

I’ve read a fair bit of Thompson and I like him generally but Hell’s Angels seemed like his best stuff IMO.


I think it helped them that he was the only one that didn’t dress like a member of a motorcycle gang. The other two were kind of noticeably costumed.

Hell’s Angels did strike a good chord between Thompson as a writer and Thompson as a journalist. More approachable than that Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, but with actual research woven in unlike, say Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.


My thought exactly, 1 & 3 looked like actors.


Yeah, you could tell they were trying hard to be Hunter-esque, even hunching a fair bit and talking in almost a monotone.


ah, the good Doctor.

here is some more video on him

he was a hilarious cat. fun to travel around on the political circuit in the 80s

and no, he was usually pretty quiet - unless he was on a bender - then he was loud


Wow. That was so much weirder than I expected. The LSD joke, for example. Utterly banal but . . . whoa there, how did the panel know anything about the Hell’s Angels. And . . . what was Thompson on? Nothing? Surely, he mentioned this appearance in a later article.


Thompson was still relatively square, in those days, trying to get published in mainstream magazines…he hadn’t yet developed any notoriety, or a reputation for being “Hunter-esque”, at that point.


Somewhat interesting that Thompson’s book and the book’s title itself seem to have a typo.

The gang’s name is “Hells Angels” [no apostrophe].

Was this stylized misspelling not yet formalized by 1966? The wiki page for HAMC doesn’t even mention it, but does use the “correct” misspelling consistently. The HAMC site itself says: “Yes, we know that there is an apostrophe missing but it is you who miss it. We don’t.”


have you heard the one about the rock musician who tried lsd?


Understandable, but I prefer Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, probably because it was oddly an assigned text in my first college Government course.


Thompson started investigating the Hell’s Angels around the time the peaked in public consciousness. Being one of the larger clubs, they were the poster child for often-sensationalized outlaw motorcycle gang problem. There were others, of course: Satan’s Slaves and the Purple Dragons also get some mention in Thompson’s book.

And then they were the go-to for counter-culture gurus, like the Merry Pranksters mentioned in the interview, who believed that pretty much all counter-cultures were on some level loosely affiliated with each other in contrast to the mainstream culture. (Spoiler: the only link between consciousness-expansive intellectuals, psychedelic flower children, and motorcycle gangs is a superficial fondness for LSD when they can get it.)

I really recommend Hell’s Angels.



that’s the one I always hear was good but which I haven’t read. Although I must have seen an excerpt? His description of the Watergate Hotel as the kinda joint that has marijuana seeds mashed into the lobby carpet always stuck with me; surely it was from Campaign Trail?
FaLiLV was cool. The later RS articles I caught (circa '90) and the book of his faxes were meh. The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved is grade-fucking-A. Between that and HA I thought that meant I favored his early stuff. Accordingly, I read the early Rum Diary excerpts with interest when they appeared but got nothing from it, really.


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