Hitchhiker’s Guide creator Douglas Adams in 1992: ‘Looking at the ordinary … from some other angle’

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Douglas Adams in 1997
(Promo photo
for Starship Titanic
by Richard Blanshard)
Click for the interview.
Here’s long-lost (in the sense it aired once in 1992 and never again; and in the sense it was tucked away in a box, unlooked-at and unlistened-to for years) audio from first time I met the wonderfully creative (and, unfortunately since 2001, dead) author Douglas Adams, creator of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and so much more — including the Dirk Gently stories; a Monty Python script; computer games; memorable Doctor Who tales; and a book and radio series on endangered species, Last Chance to See.

On a tour to promote his then-new addition to the Hitchhiker’s library, Mostly Harmless, Adams details how the idea for the series came to him, reveals its moral, and explains his inspiration for the towel’s central role in it.

He also talks about his growing mastery of computer technology (“I never used to … give lectures at fridge-cleaning conferences”), shares his views on the then-impending 1992 U.S. presidential election (“I couldn’t believe … George Bush could be so ill-advised as to start attacking Clinton for having demonstrated against the Vietnam War”) and ponders the common thread connecting his work: “Looking at the ordinary, the everyday … from some other angle.”

If you’re a Hitchhiker’s fan, you’ll want to play this Nov. 6, 1992, interview with Douglas Adams, unheard for almost a quarter-century.

Then listen to my newly remastered (from digital, not analog, audio tape) follow-up 1997 interview with Douglas Adams and Python alumnus Terry Jones, in which, among other things, Adams explains that Shakespeare “just wasn’t a good comedy writer.”

More great archival audio to come. Sign up to get the latest by email.

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