Television: Puff-Up Time

The time capsule recording the rot of American TV might well include the tape of the Dec. 17 Tonight show. Within that dispiriting 90-minute reel were a cough-medicine commercial, Phyllis Diller's laugh, and the on-the-air wedding of Tiny Tim, the fortyish boy soprano, to his 17-year-old Miss Vicki Budinger.

The heavily pressagented event had been arranged by aides of the singer, NBC, and Johnny Carson's staff, which gleefully provided the vaguely Louis XVI set and wardrobe. To build ratings, the ceremony was delayed through an insufferable hour with Diller and Singer Florence Henderson. The rites were relatively decorous—and held down to ten...

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