Gary Susman
September 24, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The next big celebrity guest star on Gilmore Girls is a fellow who’s a tad outside the WB’s youthful demographic: author Norman Mailer. USA Today reports that the 81-year-old literary lion will make his TV acting debut by playing himself on an episode airing in about a month. Son Stephen will play a reporter who interviews the writer while he’s a guest at Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) inn.

What was it about the show that attracted Mailer (who noted that he wrote a famous book, The Executioner’s Song, about killer Gary Gilmore)? ”It had taste. It was witty and well put together. It had a certain élan that I liked,” Mailer told USA Today. Turns out he also liked the show’s trademark overcaffeinated repartée, even improvising some of his own dialogue. Shooting Mailer ”was completely intimidating,” said executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino. ”But it was one of those moments where you say, ?This is why you do this.”’

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