Television: A Funny Thing

There he was, hovering pale and jittery, like an image that persists for a second after the set has been turned off. Jack Paar was back, on an NBC television special, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House," a catalogue of droll film clips and skits about politics.

It was not quite the same Paar. All work and no play made Jack. Now that he had been retired for a year, the high-tension lines had dropped from his face; he looked younger, fitter, less neurotic—and less in tune with the times. He was obviously nervous and his...

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