Charles Van Doren speaks ...

Old college threads.
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Charles Van Doren speaks ...

Post by Tegan » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:23 am

Saw this buried way down over at

Nearly a half century after Charles Van Doren admitted that he had been given the answers to questions on the hit NBC game show Twenty One, the former college instructor and son of poet Mark Van Doren, has written publicly about the events of that time.

In an article appearing in the current edition of The New Yorker, Van Doren says that he experienced a "Mephistophelian epiphany" when he first appeared on the show, aware that he was participating in a fix that would see the previous winner, Herb Stempel, booted off the show. "Papa, forgive me! Mama forgive me! Uncle Carl, forgive me!" Van Doren wrote in the article, referring to his uncle, historian and Columbia English professor Carl Van Doren who died six years earlier. "I've remembered that moment for more than forty years." Van Doren later became the subject of Robert Redford's Quiz Show, in which he was portrayed by Ralph Fiennes as a tragically flawed intellectual. But Van Doren writes in the article, "I am not who you think I am, or at least, I don't want to be. It's been hard to get away, partly because the man who cheated on Twenty One is still part of me."

I find it mildly interesting .... after all these years that he would come public about it. I'm assuming that everyone has seen the film, which I personally liked, or the American Experience(?) episode on PBS.