Back in 1988, Magnus Magnusson (best name ever) somehow managed to bring three of the 20th Century's most fascinating personalities together to discuss God, the Universe, and Everything Else. In the hour-long program, the three talked about the Big Bang theory, the connection between science and scifi, the rise of computer science, extraterrestrial intelligence, and the puzzle that is human existence.

The remarkable program featured a spry 46 year-old Stephen Hawking who was already having to rely on his speech synthesizer — but his wit and deadpan humor was firmly established. Carl Sagan, who appeared via satellite, passed away only eight years later, with scifi author Arthur C. Clarke dying in 2008.


We were alerted to this video by Open Culture, who writes:

With minds like these, you can rest assured that the conversation won't stray far from what Sagan calls "the fundamental questions," nor will it come untethered from established human knowledge and float into the realms of wild speculation and wishful thinking. And of course, in such conversations, a sense of humor like Hawking's — a man who, not expected to reach age thirty, would nevertheless live to see more advancement in human knowledge than anyone else on the broadcast — never goes amiss.

Magnusson was the longtime host of BBC's Mastermind program. Props to him for putting this together back in the day.

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