The Leader of the Lost Boys: A Success Story

By E. Graydon Carter Smart January/February 1990 The show was over, Saturday Night Live had just celebrated a milestone on television with an awards ceremony for itself—a live, clip-heavy, two-and-a-half-hour prime-time special. NBC’s Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center,...

From Chinatown to Niketown

By Michael Sragow SF Weekly September 30, 1998 In 1974 Robert Towne was seething about the lot of his script for Chinatown, now considered his most famous work. Released that same year, the screenplay won an Oscar for Towne. When I interviewed him at the time, he was...

Frank Lebowitz, Tenderfoot

By E. Jean Carroll Outside July/August 1983 “Uh, Jean?” “Yes?” “Are you awake?” “Yes.” “What the hell is that?” “What?” “That funny glare outside.” (Pause.) “The moon, Fran.” We are in a tent. Fran Lebowitz is lying on my right; George Butler on my left. Fran lights...

Truman Capote Sups on the Flesh of the Famous 

By James Wolcott The Village Voice September 6, 1976 Has any writer since Boswell possessed a shrewder sense of careermanship than Truman Capote? Gore Vidal expertly packages his arch, marcelled aphorisms for television consumption, Norman Mailer at his most combative...

Unanswered Prayers

By Julie Baumgold New York Magazine October 28, 1984 Inside Mortimer’s on the day of Truman Capote’s New York memorial service, two small segments of society were in tumult. In the side room, C.Z. Guest was holding a luncheon for twenty-four of Truman’s good...

Don Ohlmeyer’s Prime Time

By Diane K. Shah Inside Sports May, 1980 “The truth is, those are not Soviet troops in Afghanistan. They’re ABC technicians, sent by Roone, dressed in Russian uniforms.” — Don Ohlmeyer Don Ohlmeyer wishes. Usually what Ohlmeyer wishes, he gets. As a young production...

Warren Beatty Has Been Wronged!

By Helen Lawrenson Cosmopolitan February, 1970 Ever since his first film (Splendor in the Grass) ten years ago, Warren Beatty has been one of the most talked about figures in Hollywood—and the least understood. It is an open secret that the reason Bonnie and Clyde...

Salute to One of the Greats

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader March 30, 2023 Bill Zehme, who chronicled the lives of show business personalities in the ’80s and ’90s, died last weekend after a ten-year battle with cancer. He was 64 and one of the most personable and likable people you’d ever want...

Bill Zehme and The Late Night Talk Show Gods

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic 2016 Bill Zehme got to know David Letterman and Jay Leno when he profiled them in the early ’80s as their careers all took off. A decade later, Zehme was a feature writer for Esquire, perfectly positioned to go inside and get the scoop...

Three Cheers for the Literary Anthology

By John Schulian The Los Angeles Times August 18, 1991 Exactly one day before I raised my right hand and marched into the Army in that blighted year of 1968, I saw the future I wanted. It was a sight that had eluded me throughout graduate school, but now, with the...

David Milch, Spin Doctor

By Steve Oney Buzz May 1994 Back at Yale, the professor and Pulitzer-prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren would tell his protégé, David Milch, that the secret to Herman Melville’s poems is that they spin against the way they drive – that is, that even as their...

Bad Vibes in Tune Town

By Stephen Fried Vanity Fair February 1995 In the fall of 1993, the ominous letters and phone calls began to come in to Gerald Levin’s office on the top floor of the Time Warner Building in Rockefeller Center. There weren’t hundreds of them, but each was from somebody...