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For today's Lost Media History, I'm covering two pieces of recently unearthed media that slipped us by before we even had a chance to write up articles for them (regrettably). One of them was briefly mentioned in the shoutbox by myself, though the other slipped us by completely, and as such, I feel that they both warrant a special mention (especially the latter of the two). Today's lesson is on Tim and Eric's The New Big Ball With Neil Hamburger Adult Swim pilot, along with J.D. Salinger's Three Stories, a collection of unpublished works (including, most notably, The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls).

The New Big Ball With Neil Hamburger (Unaired 2010 Series Pilot)

The New Big Ball With Neil Hamburger (Unaired 2010 Pilot)

The New Big Ball With Neil Hamburger (Unaired 2010 Pilot)

YouTube mirror of Adult Swim's upload.

The New Big Ball With Neil Hamburger is a 2010 pilot from the minds of absurdist duo Tim and Eric, and was a mock game-show hosted by Neil Hamburger (whom Tim and Eric had previously worked with on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!). Created for Adult Swim, the pilot was ultimately rejected, and went unseen for several years.

According to an article in the New York Times, the 13 minute pilot had begun early production in 2008.[1] It was cited as being a spin-off of Awesome Show. Given the presence of Tim and Eric's dedicated fan following, after being asked several times about the pilot, Tim Heidecker posted a tweet on September 12, 2013, which read "You asked for it! The New Big Ball Game Show pilot with @NeilHamburger is coming to the web soon!!!".[2] Sure enough, a couple of months later, on November 7, the full pilot was uploaded to adultswim.com, and the mysterious episode was finally made available to fans alike.

NOTE: As I suggested earlier, I briefly covered this in the shoutbox, around the time of its release, and though it did constitute as found media, I decided to disclude it from the notice board posts, since it didn't actually have an article here, and, was therefore technically redundant (it's a shame the Found Media Wiki wasn't around back then). However, as you may have guessed, I now feel that I could have (and should have) done the pilot's release better justice, and that is why I have included it in this two-parter.

J. D. Salinger's Three Stories (Unpublished Short Stories; 1942-1946)

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Front cover of the eBay copy.

J. D. Salinger's aptly-named Three Stories is a collection of three unpublished short works written between 1942 and 1946, one of which was, until recently, particularly rare and sought-after.

The first story in question (ie. The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls) was originally written for Harper's Bazaar, though Salinger ultimately withdrew the submission before publication. The plot centers around the precursors to characters from his acclaimed 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye. A copy was donated to Princeton University, with the understanding and agreement that the story was not to be published until 50 years after his death (January 27, 2060 being the earliest possible date). It is currently available for strict viewing (two forms of ID required) at Princeton University, during which time the reader must be accompanied by security guards.

The latter stories (ie. Birthday Boy and Paula), while not necessarily under any clause to remain unpublished, are still considered rare in their own right, and are, similarly, available for viewing at the University of Texas at Austin.

Many had come to terms with the fact that short of travelling to the respective universities in person, they wouldn't be reading the stories any time soon. Then, in mid September of 2013, the unbelieveable happened. An unauthorised collection of all three works, published under the name Three Stories showed up on eBay. The book, which was apparently printed in 1999 in a very limited run (the auctioned copy being number 6 of only 25) sold for a measly 67.50 pounds, which is incredibly cheap given its historical significance and reputation (particularly that of The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls).[3]

While many a fan likely waited with bated breath at the proposed fate of the sold copy, the trail ran cold after just a few weeks, and it seemed that the auction had been and gone, with the spoils likely now in the hands of a private collector. However, not long after the auction's end, something even more extraordinary happened; in late November, the entire book was leaked (in .pdf form) anonymously, by the apparent buyer. The news spread like wildfire, quickly reaching Salinger scholar Kenneth Slawenski, who (while in disapproval over the ethical implications of the leak) confirmed that they were indeed genuine, matching his own private copies. Said .pdf is now widely available via filesharing websites.[4]

Since the book's leak, fans have been torn by the choice of whether or not to read it, against Salinger's wishes, or to avoid it, in honour of his request. Either way, this historical piece of literature is now available for all who wish to partake in reading it, thanks to leak's anonymous source.

NOTE: This one managed to slip me by completely until just today; I was absolutely amazed to see that it had actually been found. Personally, I am happy with the fact that it was found, given my incredibly curious nature towards lost materials of that nature, though I can see where the naysayers are coming from. Regardless of the leak, these works will certainly go down in history, as will their unofficial, unexpected, and (56 years) early release.

References

  1. The aforementioned 2008 New York Times article on Tim and Eric. Retrieved 18 Jan '14.
  2. Tim Heidecker's Twitter post confirming the pilot's then-upcoming online release. Retrieved 18 Jan '14.
  3. Archive of the aforementioned 2013 eBay auction, courtesy of the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 Jan '14.
  4. thepiratebay.se torrent download of the leaked .pdf file. Retrieved 18 Jan '14.
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