Mad Men is straight out of the period when I first came to New York. I came in 1956 and worked at the New York Times, and the period when I was on staff, that paper — except for the product itself — could’ve been an advertising agency. The drinking during the day was the same, and so was the cavorting, this rampant sexual life of the great paper of record. It was hardly a grey lady. When I see Mad Men, the martinis and all that hedonism; it’s something I recognize completely. Especially the sexual scenes: At the Times, we had a managing editor having an affair with one of the junior reporters; no executive had a record of monogamy for any length of time. It was a lust everywhere! They used to say, drink is the bane of the Tribune, but sex is the curse of the Times.
PAT HACKETT: You’re more introspective than you seem on TV—not that there’s a lot of time for introspection on national television.
DAVID LETTERMAN: It’s because all comedians are preoccupied with one thing and with one thing only-themmm-selllves. It’s a horrible lot in life.