Show Business: Prince of Wails

If the networks seemed to take the strike rather calmly last week, it was because they had the programming problem taped. When they ran out of fresh shows, all they had to do was rerun old ones. Or so it seemed until midweek, when Johnny Carson, incomparable compere of the Tonight show, blew the whistle—and town. He was through for good, it was announced, because the National Broadcasting Co. was playing tapes of his old shows during the AFTRA strike.

One of his associates explained that Carson "thrives on topical humor. He looks like an idiot talking about Christmas in those old...

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