David Thomson captures the appeal of Johnny Carson: "He was a master spy, an immaculate secret, someone who knew that being
on television long enough might be a very good way of burying your own
soul." Read also Mr. Sun (now and forever). Kenneth Tynan's 1978 Carson profile is one of the all-time tour-de-force New Yorker articles, worth the $15,000 (!) Tynan was paid. Oddly, I once wrote a long article on late-night talk shows for the New Republic. I'm no longer sure what I was trying to say, and the last several paragraphs were actually written by Andrew Sullivan, but there is some amusing talk-show history in it. The text comes courtesy of a Freshman Composition class at Ole Miss.