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Watch: Christian Slater as an 8-year-old soap star

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Like many people, I have long assumed that Christian Slater was never a child. It just always seemed obvious to me that he was born a miniature Jack Nicholson replica, and when the doctor handed him to his mother he growled, "Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling," and then lit a cigarette.

But on Tuesday night's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon revealed a shocking truth: Christian Slater used to be an actual human child.

Slater was there to promote the second season of the hacker drama Mr. Robot, which released a surprise drop of its first episode this weekend. But instead of promoting the show by playing a clip from the new season, Fallon played a clip of an 8-year-old Slater guest-starring on One Life to Live circa roughly 1976 or 1977.

One Life to Live was then a relatively youthful eight or nine years into its 43-year run, which means Slater’s appearance would have been after Viki Lord was widowed the first time and remarried but then found out her first husband was still alive and then divorced him. However, it would have been before she was tried and then cleared for the murder of her nemesis, Marco Dane, which ultimately led to Karen Wolek entering a life of prostitution. (I have never watched One Life to Live, but it sounds like a fantastic show.)

In the clip, Slater plays a regular human child who has never once smoked a cigarette but who has demonstrated incipient signs of hooliganism by clowning around on a skateboard, a.k.a. the Devil’s Wheeled Platform of Doom, and landing himself in a doctor’s office. "Oh, man, a dumb rock in the middle of the sidewalk, and then bam!" he laments, as normal human children do, before the kindly doctor sends him on his way.

You might think Slater’s childhood appearance on One Life to Live definitely proves that he was born a regular human child, but let’s think this through a minute. If Mr. Robot has demonstrated anything, it’s that those in power have a vested interest in hiding the truth from the rest of us. Did Fallon really show us a clip of an 8-year-old Christian Slater … or does this conspiracy go all the way to the top?