Tonight, PBS will premiere Novel Reflections on the American Dream, which, judging by its Web site, looks to be a decent overview of stateside literature. (I was asked to submit a list for its “expert picks” page of best novels, lines, heroes, and villains; a few of my choices made the final tally, though I guess there aren’t enough critics around who share my fandom of David Goodis to bump, say, Moby-Dick.)

I haven’t nerded up for something on PBS since I was an eight-year-old devotee of 3-2-1 Contact, but the special sent me scouring YouTube for Talladega Nights clips. The movie proper is a lame entry from the Happy Gilmore School of Sports Comedy, but the final 35 seconds features Ricky Bobby’s bratty kids, Walker and Texas Ranger, having a great back-and-forth about William Faulkner’s “The Bear” that seems designed to counter any accusation that film is intellectually barren. The scene starts at 5:01 in this clip, though if you fast-forward you’ll miss what even a hater of Will Ferrell films has to admit is one of the all-time great comebacks: “What’re you looking at me for? I’m not a bottle of Jim Beam!”

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