The Stacks Chat: Edward Sorel

By Alex Belth Esquire November 2016 Edward Sorel is one of the finest—and funniest—caricaturists this country has ever produced. Although he works in a variety of styles, you’ll likely recognize his work right away—you’ve seen it in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker,...

David Letterman, the Vice-President of Comedy

By Peter W. Kaplan Esquire December 1981 I have no troubles that I can’t tell standing up and to several million people at once.—Jack Paar When David Letterman enters a small club, other young comics make way for him, and although he moves among them, he is separate....

The Betrayal of Michael Levine

By Mark Kram Esquire March 1991 With eyes closed, no chop and plenty of silk, Michael Levine plays late at night on his tenor sax, the counterpoint of distant car horns and sudden voices trading muffugs while passing beneath the open window. Curious, how the sound of...

No Pain, No Game

By Mark Kram Esquire January 1992 Observe, please, the human skeleton, 208 bones perfectly wrought and arranged; the feet built on blocks, the shinbones like a Doric column. Imagine an engineer being told to come up with the vertebral column from scratch. After years,...

The Toughest Man in Pro Football

By Leonard Shecter Esquire January 1968 One of the favorite things of Vince Lombardi, coach, general manager and spiritual leader of the world-champion Green Bay Packers, is the grass drill. He lets an assistant coach lead the bending and stretching exercises, the...

Great Men Die Twice

By Mark Kram Esquire March 1989 There is the feel of a cold offshore mist to the hospital room, a life-is-a-bitch feel, made sharp by the hostile ganglia of medical technology, plasma bags dripping, vile tubing snaking in and out of the body, blinking monitors...

A Hurdler in Inner Space

By Mark Kram Esquire June 1988 Odd, he was thinking, how a streak leans on you, twists you, turns you, can overwhelm the most finely tuned psychology designed to protect you from its vast intrusions. He was stretched out on a bed in a dark Madrid hotel room, listening...

Escape From New York

By Mark Kriegel Esquire December 1995 It is early morning in Miami, still dark, black water lapping at the dock overlooking Biscayne Bay. But here in this cold, cranky bloodshot hour that so injures a sportswriter’s metabolism, Pat Riley is undaunted, optimistic....

Meet Reggie (Dr. Jekyll) Jackson (Mr. Hyde)

By Harry Stein Esquire July 1977 “I’d rather hit than have sex,” Reggie Jackson offered up to the man from Time who was laboring on a cover story. “God, do I love to hit that little round sum-bitch out of the park and make ’em say, ‘Wow!’” Sports Illustrated’s guy...

The House That Thurman Munson Built

By Michael Paterniti Esquire September 1999 I give you Thurman Munson in the eighth inning of a meaningless baseball game, in a half-empty stadium in a bad Yankee year during a fourteen-season Yankee drought, and Thurman Munson is running, arms pumping, busting his...

Mel Brooks Says This Is the Funniest Man in the World

By Harry Stein Esquire June 1976 Harry Ritz will say it himself, but he prefers that others say it for him. “As far as I’m concerned,” says Mel Brooks, “Harry Ritz was the funniest man ever. His craziness and his freedom were unmatched. There was no intellectualizing...

Swee’pea and the Shark

By Ivan Solotaroff Esquire November 1992 Bald, bone-white, wearing baggy sweats and clunky sneakers, Jerry “Tark the Shark” Tarkanian looks like a cross between Mr. Magoo and Yertle the Turtle as he paces the length of the hardwood floor of the Blossom Athletic Center...