'Hi, I'm Kurt Vonnegut...'
Among the most memorable movie scenes in the 80s: Kurt Vonnegut Jr. as himself in Back to School.
Rodney Dangerfield's character hires Vonnegut to write an English essay -- about himself. He gets a lousy grade and stops payment on the check to the famous author. Keith Gordon, who played Dangerfield's son in the movie, would later direct a film adaptation of Vonnegut's Mother Night.
Vonnegut died Wednesday at age 84. He had suffered brain injuries after a fall at his NYC home a few weeks ago, according to the AP.
Back in 1985, my senior year in high school, I carried around a tattered paperback copy of Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" around school. Not because it was assigned reading (it wasn't), and not because I enjoyed the "you're reading about Wheaties?" comments (I didn't). But because it rocked. And it taught me that reading and writing could actually be fun.