Who the Devil Is Fred Rogers?

By John Sedgwick WigWag November, 1989 Up close, the set for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood seems to belong to a high school stage production, not to a television show beamed out to 290 stations across the United States. Erected in spacious Studio A of Pittsburgh’s...

The Hollow Clown

By Alfred Bester Show January, 1964 Every show reflects the character and quality of its star. When you enter the Perry Como studio, the atmosphere is warm and friendly, and total strangers will come up and tell you about their kids. The Sid Caesars were kicky and...

Jerry Lewis, Birthday Boy

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy January 1974 “And then they say, ‘Now, ladies and gentlemen, here’s the star of our show,’ and we both come out and go for the microphone, and you grab it and start right in, ‘Good evening, folks, it’s so great to be here in Miami,’ and I...

Will the Next Lenny Bruce Please Speak Up?

By Robert Ward GQ August, 1984 I remember everything about the first time I heard Lenny Bruce. I was filing records in the Modern Music House in Baltimore, Maryland. They were Miles Davis records, and I was putting yet another copy of his masterpiece, Kind of Blue, in...

The Man Who Wasn’t There

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader January 24, 2020 In the late ’70s, Kenneth Tynan wrote a handful of long, entertaining profiles for The New Yorker—later collection in Show People. It’s our good fortune that the good folks down at Conde Nast see fit to make one of...

Brooke Shields Walks on Glass

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy December 1985 “You’re here,” Eddy Jo said. “Just barely,” Teri Shields said. She made a motion as if to sneeze, then caught herself. “I was wondering,” Eddy Jo said. She carried three spiral notebooks, cradled in her arms like a fat baby....

Is Randy Newman a Redneck Cole Porter—Or Just Strange?

By Grover Lewis Playboy September, 1983 Randy Newman is chary of interviewers by reflex, bless his level sense, but bent even more unbendingly in that direction since the critical shitstorm mounted in the pop-squeak press against his fifth album of art songs, Good Old...

The Seductions of MTV

By Helen Dudar The Wall Street Journal September 26, 1983 Most of my friends can be seduced by a tedium of journalists gnawing over the week’s news or by the exquisite boredom of Brideshead Revisited, but my television tastes run to junk. Family Feud, Entertainment...

Mr. Mike’s America

By Paul Slansky Playboy March 1983 It was a time when people walked the nation’s streets with orange-foam pads clamped to their ears and antennae bouncing above their heads. The newspapers of the day told of several thousand men and women who had allowed themselves to...

The Post-Celluloid Tristesse of Raquel Welch

By O’Connell Driscoll Playboy February 1977 It is the day before the Academy Awards. There is a small crowd of people standing in a light rain outside the stage door entrance to the Music Center, in downtown Los Angeles. The rain has been falling all day, and now, at...

Death in Venice

By Steve Oney Los Angeles Magazine May 2005 “The boardwalk squeaks and out come the freaks,” declares Ian McShane, plainly including himself in the assortment of street preachers, panhandlers, and body builders gathered at Venice Beach on this foggy spring morning....

Shandling Agnosites

By Gerri Hirshey GQ February 1997 Garry Shandling is worrying a piece of plain chicken (no skin, no sauce, no guilt) with a plastic fork. The tines quiver with indecision (eat? talk? eat and talk and risk having a meteor of thigh meat land on those dry-cleaned jeans …...