Tracey & Paul Interview by Vanity Fair
Seventies Showbiz Fixture Paul Williams Talks Sobriety And Remembering Every Eighth Tonight Show Appearance
With his stature, wit, blond bowl cut, wide lapels, and oversize glasses, legendary songwriter Paul Williams (“Rainy Days and Mondays,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” and maybe most indelibly, “The Rainbow Connection”) cut an unforgettable show-business figure in the 1970s. He made more than 48 appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson—he claims to remember only six—and acted in zeitgeist films such as Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Smokey and the Bandit, and The Muppet Movie. Then, in the 80s, he vanished.