Christopher Buckley, son of the late William F. Buckley, Jr. ’50, is a writer, editor, and political satirist, most notable for his time as a speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and his book Thank You For Smoking. He began editing the Yale Daily News Magazine in 1973, the year after its founding.
What is your favorite memory of Yale?
Going to the (now defunct) Old Heidelburg bar at 9 a.m. for a beer with the staff of the Yale Daily News Magazine after staying up all night putting the latest issue to bed.
You can’t live without…
I suppose the honest answer, at this point, would be my nightly regimen aspirin and Lipitor. But I’d prefer to say something more lofty, like say, The Bill of Rights?
If you could meet one character from a novel, who would it be?
Jeeves, in order to hire him to take care of me.
If you could ask President Obama a question, what would it be?
So, having fun yet?
What is your favorite word and why?
Whatever. It is the all purpose answer to any proposition, proposal, or religious claim.
What’s the most difficult piece you’ve ever had to write?
It was a piece for Esquire in 1983 about feeling guilty over having not served in the armed forces.
Do you have a Facebook account? Why or why not?
No. Life is too short.
If you could go back to college now what would you do differently?
Take Vincent Scully’s course on art.
What’s your favorite New Haven establishment?
Other than Mother Yale, I assume you mean. It used to be the Yankee Doodle diner, but that closed. Mory’s, but isn’t that closed, too? Oh dear. Okay: Louie’s Lunch. And Sally’s pizzeria.
The most embarrassing moment of your career is…
My Class Day speech in 1976, at which I so wittily deployed the f-word.
What advice do you have for Yale students?
As the dying sergeant in “Saving Private Ryan” says to Private Ryan, “Earn this.”
Most importantly, why is Yale better than Harvard?
I was hoping you’d ask. Though I’m tempted to try to be glib, I’d say, in all seriousness, that I think we take ourselves a bit less seriously than our Cantabridgian confreres and consoeurs. How’s that for sheer pretentiousness?