In 1978 Kenneth Tynan received $15,000 for his New Yorker profile of Johnny Carson. Today the equivalent would be a cool $43,501.85. Curiosity quenched.
Archives for January 24, 2005
Over at Tingle Alley, Carrie was provoked by the news of Johnny Carson’s death to do a little research. She went to Kenneth Tynan’s diaries and looked up entries relating to the writer’s 1978 New Yorker profile of Carson. In these she found a portrait in miniature of the writing life–or of one kind of writing life, anyway.
There’s enough in Tynan’s diary to make one shudder at such a life. He has cause to damn the New Yorker staff as “the inquisitorial logicians on 43rd Street.” But the redeeming moments are in there, too. After he turned in the piece and waited an agonizing week, the cash-strapped Tynan got good news from William Shawn:
He thinks the piece “stunning” and “marvellous”…
And better news from William Shawn:
I believe Terry has in his possession a secret decoder ring that will tell us what that is in 2005 dollars. I, for one, would be interested [read: pruriently curious] to know.