193. “Words, bread, must be Samuel Johnson with a baguette.”

The episode:Girl in Gold Boots,” ep. 1002

The riff: This is the conclusion Tom draws when a pair of young rebels decide to pick up a bearded folk singer on the side of the road. The girl (who has the hots for him) recalls that he’s “the one with all the words,” as they had met earlier. Her grifter pal, on the other hand, remembers that this is the guy “with all the bread,” as he earlier flashed a large wad of bills.

The explanation: I’m not going to explain what a baguette is, but Samuel Johnson was a famous essayist, literary critic and lexicographer of the 1700s. He made numerous contributions to the English language, including his influential “Dictionary of the English Language,” which remained a standard for more than a century. Unlike many of his era, his contributions are particularly well documented because he was the subject of one of history’s first complete English language biographies, “The Life of Samuel Johnson” by James Boswell. So all in all, this is a very literary riff.

Novelty factor: Believe it or not, I actually remembered my English literature classes well enough to recall who Samuel Johnson was.

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One thought on “193. “Words, bread, must be Samuel Johnson with a baguette.”

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