BRIEF LIVES OF SOME NOTABLE HOBOES
Young Karl Sekulovich, of Gary, Indiana, was an itinerant steelworker and boxcar poet for years before becoming a famous film and television star. As a hobo, he took the name "Kaveman Karl" and was known for hosting hobo stomp dances on his enormous nose. He was drawn to the stage in the late thirties, when hoboes were enjoying something of a vogue on Broadway, starring in such hobo-themed shows as Railbirds! and A Streetcar Named Desire. Later in his career, he became the American Express spokesperson, immortalizing the line "Never leave home without it, especially if you plan to forever lead a nomad's life on the hard hobo road, dodging the bulls and sleeping in makeshift hobo jungles and eating only beans, paste, and freedom."
Michael Douglas, his young costar in The Streets of San Francisco, recalled once that Malden would often take him aside and encourage a life of hoboism on the young star.
As Douglas told Rolling Stone in 1979: "Malden would say, 'Come on, brother! Let's leave all of this star stuff behind and go a-roamin'!' But that was never my trip, and he knew it. And then Karl would gaze out the window, with this sad look on his face. I used to think he was just staring stupidly the way old people do sometimes. Now I think he was probably looking at the scenery, angry that it wasn't moving."