Near the middle of the 20th Century, Terry Southern wrote novels, short fiction, and adventurous first-person journalism (before it was New). His work on films such as Human Tornado and Cotton Comes to Harlem made contributions to “black humor” that resonate to this day. If you look really hard at the cover of the Beatles’ White Album, you can make out his face. But Terry Southern is best remembered as a smug motherfucker that had a lot of cool friends, did more drugs than you could ever handle, and got more pussy than you could possibly imagine.
Go ahead. Find a reason to hate him. A lot of his material aged like bananas. He was an incorrigible namedropper. His speed-riddled jazzbo patois was often harder to follow than Treach. He ran out of workable ideas in the ‘70s and mismanaged his career into oblivion. When his head cheerleader Michael “Mr. Mike” O’Donoghue got him a job writing for Saturday Night Live, he never came up with anything memorable. Most of the “conventions” he “challenged” are still here and stronger than ever.
It doesn’t matter. The best times of your righteously indignant punk-rock life are pimples on Terry Southern’s sac. He’s dead, and he’s still having more fun than you. He serves to remind us that the ‘60s were truly a better time, at least in terms of dope and poon.
Here is the posthumously released Give Me Your Hump! – The Terry Southern Record, with appearances from O’Donoghue, Marianne Faithful, Jonathan Winters, Allen Ginsberg and others. Time has not been particularly kind.
Give Me Your Hump! – The Terry Southern Record