More from Grant - see Cavett for more. This is an excerpt from Mailer's (third-person) written account of the show, including a run-in with Gore Vidal before the airing:


At this moment, alone in the green room, he felt a tender and caressing hand on the back of his neck. It was Gore. Vidal had never touched him before, but now had the tender smile of a man who would claim, "It doesn't matter, old sport, what we say about each other — it's just pleasant to see an old friend."

Mailer answered with an openhanded tap across the cheek. It was not a slap; neither was it a punch. Just a stiff tap.

To his amazement, Vidal gave him a stiff tap back.

Norman smiled. He leaned forward and looked pleasantly at Gore. He put his hand to the back of Gore's neck. Then he butted him in the head.