Carson and Best Guests Are Back on TCM

Johnny Carson wanted to book Elizabeth Taylor as a Tonight Show guest for 30 years, and in February 1992, just a few months before Carson ceded his late night throne and franchise to Jay Leno, the mercurial actress finally said yes. During the interview the two legends traded good-natured barbs about marriage and divorce (about which each of them knew more than most). It was a meeting of Hollywood royalty, and it’s one of the fascinating old-school celebrity chats to …

Paul Williams: More Alive Than Ever

“I’m a pretty run-of-the mill alcoholic,” says Oscar winner Paul Williams. “I never came out of a blackout with a Russian arms dealer, or with Norman Mailer and a couple of hookers in a Paris hotel.” The 5-foot-2, bespectacled songwriter smiles. “I’d come out of a blackout in the boys department at Sears, trying on sweaters.” Paul Williams ought to be one of Hollywood’s great cautionary tales: Winner of an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe (and a nominee …

Good TV This Week: Remembering Johnny Carson

In “Johnny Carson: King of Late Night,” the PBS American Masters documentary airing tomorrow night (5/14), the “Tonight Show” host is referred to as an American Sphinx – right there before our eyes, yet enigmatic.  Director Peter Jones shines a light on the more mysterious aspects of Carson’s life – the mother he could never please, the sons he felt he’d shortchanged, the wives who took a back seat to his career – in this special pegged to the 50th …

Dick Cavett Remembers His Friend, Johnny Carson

When Dick Cavett allows you to hitch a ride on one of his conversational caravans, there’s really no telling where you’ll end up. In 50-plus years of professional conversationalism, the man has met and chatted up everyone from Aaron Sorkin to ZZ Top, so one anecdote can’t help but lead to another, and then another, and pretty soon the narrative includes more characters than Day of the Locust. On this day, though, Dick Cavett is talking with me about Johnny …

Soupy Sales, James Cagney, Johnny Carson, Excedrin Headaches, and More: Random Audio From the Movies for Grownups Radio Archives

So, I’ve been doing this Movies for Grownups radio show for eight years, and every week I prowl the web looking for audio clips that’ll make it sound, you know, interesting. The thing is, I never, ever throw any of this stuff out. So now I have hours and hours of the most random sound samples you can imagine. Last week here at the office they changed out my computer, and for some reason that forced to the front of …

Oprahcalypse! Surviving Oprah Winfrey’s End Time

Well, the world didn’t end as predicted last Saturday, and doubtless millions of Oprah Winfrey fans are hoping for a similar reprieve today as the woman who has ruled the afternoon for 25 years signs off from her daily broadcast for the last time (“What, did I say May 25th? I meant October 25th!”). Alas, that won’t happen. The Sun Queen will indeed set, leaving behind a programming void around which will continue to orbit, at least for now, her …