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Post Graduate

An update on Charles Webb ’61, author of The Graduate. (Hat tip Newmark’s Door.)

It has taken Charles Webb 40 years to write a sequel to ‘The Graduate’. He made no money from the film, has sunk into the deepest poverty and now lives in a hotel in Eastbourne. ‘I wouldn’t have had it any other way,’ he tells John Preston

Sometime in the mid-1970s, several years after he wrote The Graduate and gave away all his possessions, Charles Webb was working as a clerk in a branch of Kmart.

One day he noticed that there was a new product on the shelves, designed to help children become potty-trained.

It was called The Graduate.

‘I think that’s when I realised this thing was never going to waft away into the distance.

“Although the film wasn’t my hit, my whole life has been measured by it.

“I’ve no idea how life would have turned out had it not been for this phenomenon, but everything would have been very different. That’s for sure.’

Read the whole thing.

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#1 Comment By frank uible On June 29, 2007 @ 9:09 am

As I recall, long ago there appeared in public print further poignant details of Webb’s relationship with Fred. I probably can’t do them justice in any attempt at a recap, and Webb may just as soon see them remain lost. Nonetheless some of you sentimental googlers might be able to find them. David, in my opinion Webb is a person from whom a speech and a trailing Q & A period about meeting the vicissitudes of life Williams students (and many others) might very well benefit.

#2 Comment By anon /04 On June 29, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

#3 Comment By Anonymous On June 29, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

A Williams role model?
Never saw the graduate. Do not intend to view it in the future.
I found this gentleman’s biographical sketch and read about him, his wife and children. He should not be paid a farthing. Not a single pence. He should be thrown out of his lodgings for back rent. Every fool should be parted with his possessions. This man has forsaken his soul.

Raised his children in a nudist colony?
Where his children eat a copy of the graduate with cranberries?
Where his wife is FRED?
And on and on and on.

Not worth the effort to even spend a minute with someone like him. He should work as an undertaker’s assistant.

#4 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On June 29, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

For the past four years, the Webbs’ life has followed the same bizarre pattern. ‘One night we’ll be lying in bed, watching television and talking away. Then the next morning Fred will wake up as a five-year-old. It’s like a totally clear-cut process.

But when she’s going the other way, it’s a little more difficult. She seems less willing to make that transition. It’s a complicated thing and there’s nowhere to turn to to look for information. As far as I can discover, there’s no precedent for it.’

Odd that my memory, as it did after Katie Craig’s passing, finds so many similar examples in the history of Williams.

‘But for the grace of G-d,’ pass we all…