HERE'S TO JOHNNY
You got it right by featuring Johnny Carson on your cover. For three generations, Carson was entertainment. Despite the letters you've received, many of us understand that you cannot feature each week's deceased celebrity on the cover that would be morbid. No, you always know just who to choose: entertainers who transcend genres with true mass appeal. Bravo on giving Johnny Carson the final curtain call he deserved.
Kudos to Benjamin Svetkey for such a heartfelt tribute to Johnny Carson (News & Notes). I especially liked his interpretation of ''missing him all over again.'' That is exactly how I felt upon hearing the news of Carson's passing, and Svetkey managed to translate that into words perfectly. Thanks for the great article it helped soften the hurt of losing a great guy.
STRINGS ATTACHEDSteve Wulf's look back on Oscar night, 1980 (''25 Years Ago''), was a fun reminiscence, but he omitted one of the more curious aspects of that Oscar season: the brief brouhaha that erupted when the Academy declared Miss Piggy ineligible for a nomination for The Muppet Movie. While the Miss-Piggy-for-Best-Actress campaign was facetious, it's noteworthy in that it foreshadows later discussions about the Oscar-worthiness of nontraditional performances, like Andy Serkis as the largely computer generated Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films.
ALI T. KOKMEN
New York City
What did you slip into Dustin Hoffman's latte to get him to dish like that (''Graduate Course'')? I can't remember ever reading an interview with a star who let it all hang out like that much to my amusement. Your article served as a welcome trip down memory lane. Hoffman has never failed to entertain me and, occasionally, make me cry.
If Chris Rock thinks that ''awards for art are f---ing idiotic'' (''School of Rock''), why on earth would he involve himself in the ceremonies that bestow them? And, more important, why has he accepted nominations and awards for his art?
ALL DOLLED UP
Thank you for featuring Valley of the Dolls in We're Dyin' For. . . (DVD & Video)! This camp classic must be put out soon! The only way to see it in all its wide-screen glory is on Fox Movie Channel, and even then the color is faded. And there's a perfect extra ready to go: a half-hour feature from the reunion showing in Chelsea, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, with Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins. Hopefully, the power of EW will push Twentieth Century Fox to get to it.
RANDY J. KAPLAN
New York City
I have been flabbergasted by EW's negative reviews of the HBO show Carnivàle (Television). It is one of the most entertaining, cutting-edge, and intelligent shows on TV. Among a slew of mindless reality shows, this one demands engagement from its viewers, and consistently delivers with shocking plot twists and gradual reveals that keep me tuning in. And the phenomenal cast only adds to the show's depth and power. Please, give Carnivàle a break!