SEAN EVANS: Hey, what up, everybody? You’re watching Hot Ones, the show with hot wings and hotter questions. Today we’re joined by Samuel Beckett, playwright, novelist, cricket player, and general man of mystery. Sam, how are you feeling?
SAMUEL BECKETT: I don’t like animals. It’s a strange thing, I don’t like men and I don’t like animals. As for God, he is beginning to disgust me.
EVANS: All right, let’s dig in!
Hot Ones the Classic
SCOVILLE LEVEL 1,800
EVANS: This first sauce is our classic. What do you think?
BECKETT: The essential doesn’t change.
EVANS: For sure. For sure.
BECKETT: Let us not waste our time in idle discourse!
EVANS: Totally, man. So you started your career working for James Joyce. What was it like working with the writer of Ulysses?
BECKETT: I was very flattered when Joyce dropped the “Mister.” Everybody was “Mister.” There were no Christian names, no first names. The nearest you would get to a friendly name was to drop the “Mister.” I was never “Sam.” I was always Beckett at the best. We’d drink in any old pub or café. I don’t remember which. He was very friendly. He dictated some pages of Finnegans Wake to me at one stage. And during the dictation, someone knocked at the door and I said something. I had to interrupt the dictation. But it had nothing to do with the text. And when I read it back with the phrase “Come in” in it, he said, “Let it stand.”
EVANS: Wild. Absolutely wild. On to the next one!
Dawson’s Cedar Smoked Garlic
SCOVILLE LEVEL 7,000
EVANS: You have some other celebrity friends. I want to ask you about André the Giant. The story goes while you were living in Moulins, France, you befriended Boris Roussimoff after he helped build your cottage. Roussimoff’s twelve-year-old son André was over six feet tall and weighed 240 pounds. He was too big to fit on the local school bus, so you brought him to school in the back of your truck. Tell me, Sam, did this really happen?
BECKETT: I’ll tell my story in the past none the less, as though it were a myth, or an old fable, for this evening I need another age in which I became what I was.
EVANS: Woah. What did you guys talk about on those rides to school?
Queen Majesty Cocoa Ghost Hot Sauce
SCOVILLE LEVEL 71,000
EVANS: Yeah, bro. Get ready—they’re getting hotter.
BECKETT: I can’t go on.
EVANS: Aww, come on, Sam.
BECKETT: I’ll go on.
EVANS: Atta’ boy! You’ve been through quite a lot of experiences during your time in France. Want to tell us about your early encounter with a pimp? I think you know what one I’m talking about.
BECKETT: This pimp emerged and started to pester us to go with him. We didn’t know who he was until later, whether he was a pimp or not. This was established later, when I identified him (from photographs) in hospital. Anyway, he stabbed me; fortunately, he just missed the heart. I was lying bleeding on the pavement. Then I don’t remember much of what happened.
EVANS: Wow. Just wow. Okay, so at the trial, you confronted him and asked why he did it. Do you remember what he said?
BECKETT: “Je ne sais pas, monsieur. Je m’excuse.”
EVANS: Oh man! And then you dropped the charges. Do you know what happened to him?
BECKETT: There is no more popular prisoner in the Sante. His mail is enormous. His poules shower gifts on him. Next time he stabs someone they will promote him to the Legion of Honour. My presence in Paris has not been altogether fruitless.
EVANS: You’ve had such an impactful career with your successful plays and winning the Nobel Prize. Is there anything you would do differently?
BECKETT: My mistakes are my life.
EVANS: So cool, man. No regrets then?
BECKETT: No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found.
EVANS: You might not be saying that after this next sauce.
SCOVILLE LEVEL 135,600
EVANS: Okay, this is Da Bomb. Think you can handle it?
BECKETT: What do I know of man’s destiny?
EVANS: Love that mindset! Don’t forget you’ve got some milk right by you. That’ll help.
BECKETT: You’re on earth. There’s no cure for that.
EVANS: Right, right. So, our viewers wanna know, what is Waiting for Godot really about?
BECKETT: I cannot explain my plays. Each must find out for himself what is meant.
EVANS: Aww, you gotta give us a little something, Sam.
BECKETT: The end is in the beginning and yet you go on.
EVANS: All right, my producer is asking me to clarify. It’s about God, right?
BECKETT: If by Godot I had meant God I would have said God, and not Godot.
EVANS: Careful, don’t rub your eyes!
BECKETT: There’s no lack of void.
The Last Dab Apollo Hot Sauce
SCOVILLE LEVEL 2,000,000
EVANS: We’re down to the Last Dab. It’s a Hot Ones tradition. Just dip your wing here in the sauce. What do you think?
BECKETT: I pause to record that I feel in extraordinary form. Delirium perhaps.
EVANS: I know, it’s spicy—hang in there, Sam. We’re almost done. What about the rest of your work? Where does that magic come from?
BECKETT: I could not have gone through the awful wretched mess of life without having left a stain upon the silence.
EVANS: Do you have anything you want to plug while you’re here? New books or films? What are you working on, man?
BECKETT: If there is one question I dread, to which I have never been able to invent a satisfactory reply, it is the question “What am I doing?”
EVANS: Okay then. Thanks for joining us on Hot Ones. Remember to subscribe and check out our webstore for exclusive sauces. Check out next week when we bring on Eudora Welty.
BECKETT: A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. “Fuck off,” she said.