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Did you know Samuel Beckett used to drive André the Giant to school?

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December 23, 2021, 9:46am

Yesterday was the 32th anniversary of the death of Samuel Beckett, writer and pioneering experimental playwright (not to mention style icon)—and we’re celebrating by remembering a charming story from his life. There’s a lot of fun to revisit, like the time Beckett gave a wordless, absurdist “interview”  because he was mad that he won the Nobel Prize, or the time a Swedish poet tried to sabotage him, but we’re revisiting a popular piece of Beckett lore: the fact that he regularly drove beloved wrestler and Princess Bride scene-stealer André the Giant to school.

It’s true: Beckett was a well-known recluse, shying from public recognition, and after he grew famous for Waiting for Godot, he moved forty miles north from Paris to rural France, where he employed locals to build him a cottage. One such local was Boris Rousimoff—who happened to be the father of André the Giant. So, Beckett regularly drove André to school; André recalled that they mostly discussed cricket.

The story has grown over time: some claim André the Giant had to receive rides in Beckett’s car because he had grown too tall for the school bus, and some claim André and Beckett formed a special friendship. (Snopes has rated both these claims false.) But that hasn’t stopped artists from envisioning the union, in short plays and graphic novels. If you feel compelled, you can create your own rendition—and if you don’t like it at first, fail better.

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