The episode: “Cave Dwellers,” ep. 301
The riff: Exclaimed with surprise by Tom as the hero’s mute manservant stumbles into a secluded tent and finds a white-haired old man being held hostage.
The explanation: Timothy Leary was a former Harvard professor of psychology who became a famous figure of the counterculture drug movement in the 1960s for his experimentation with and advocating of psychedelic drugs, particularly LSD. G. Gordon Liddy, on the other hand, was the head of the Nixon White House’s “Plumbers” security division that was responsible for the Watergate break-ins, ultimately taking the fall for them as well. The two former foes formed an unlikely friendship in the early 1980s when they went on a lecture/debate series on college campuses, both being formerly incarcerated. They debated social topics of the day, with Leary generally espousing the left-wing stances and Liddy the right. They both made a boatload of appearance fees off the largely rehearsed stunt.
Novelty factor: I knew who Leary was of course, and I was vaguely aware of G. Gordon Liddy’s role in the Nixon administration, but I had no idea they ever went on this tour together.