Elvis Costello is Angry and Convincing

By Fred Schruers Circus June 22, 1978 It’s 1:30 am in the Bootlegger Lounge in Syracuse, N.Y. Elvis Costello, the one with the owlish stare and the spitting mad vocals, the man whose songs may be the worst thing that’s happened to feminism since Jack the Ripper,...

The Man Who Wrote the “Citizen Kane” of Celebrity Profiles

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 13, 2020 O’Connell Driscoll is a great name for a writer, the kind of byline that sticks. Trouble is bylines are easily forgotten and the history of magazine writing is littered with terrific writers who are neglected and Driscoll...

Jerry Goes to Death Camp!

By Bruce Handy Spy May, 1992 To artists and intellectuals, the twentieth century has posed no questions more vexing than these: First, can art make sense of the Holocaust? And second, why do the French love Jerry Lewis? The first question can’t really be answered, at...

Robert Giusti: An Illustrator’s Life

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 11, 2020 Last summer, I spent a few hours with the illustrator Robert Giusti at his beautiful home. Just a terrific, unpretentious guy—and great company—Giusti did a lot of magazine work in the ’70s and ’80s, but his most famous...

Forever John Prine

By John Schulian The Stacks Reader April 8, 2020 When I heard that John Prine lay dying in a Nashville hospital, I couldn’t help wondering if he had found time beforehand to fill out his 2020 census questionnaire. It was hardly the kind of reverent thought the moment...

Helen—An Introduction

By Nora Ephron from The Attentive Eve May 2002 The first time I heard about Helen Dudar, I was working at Newsweek magazine as a fact-checker in the National Affairs department. A new writer named Peter Goldman had just arrived at the magazine from St. Louis, and he...

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...

Oh, You Beautiful Doll

By Jennifer Allen Life December 1981   At rush hour on this dusky autumn afternoon taxis and buses clog the streets of lower Manhattan; the sidewalks are jammed with weary workers heading home. But it’s business as usual here in the executive offices of LJN Toys....

The Making of “The Godfather”—Sort of a Home Movie

By Nicholas Pileggi The New York Times Magazine August 15, 1971 As was his custom before the drive home from work with his son, the old man walked across the narrow, tenement‐lined street in Manhattan’s Little Italy to buy some fresh fruit. The grocer, who had known...

Richard Pryor: Teetering on Jest, Living by His Wit

By Frederick D. Murphy Encore American & World News November 24, 1975 Richard Pryor may be the funniest, if not the most obscene, comedian in the world. On stage, he exploits all the social norms and taboos. The most intimate moments of human behavior are laid...

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...

Holed Up With Nolte

By Fred Schruers The Movies November 1983 “Come on in.” Nick Nolte is planted on the overstuffed couch that is one of three surviving pieces of furniture in the sitting room of his hotel suite. Wisps of acrylic batting, thousands of them, dot the blue rug and cling to...