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"I first met Dean Moriarty after my wife and I split up."

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Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Famously banged out on a typewriter onto a 120-foot roll of teletype paper over a frantic, Benzedrine-fueled three weeks, the largely autobiographical and often (badly) parodied novel has been something of a bible to generations of sensitive souls, including Bob Dylan and Johnny Depp. Here’s a short clip of the fidgety and earnest author (who died of alcoholism in 1969) gamely putting up with a well-meaning Steve Allen on a Tonight Show appearance that same year. Kerouac fans are encouraged to leave tributes below.