Late-Night Comedy, in One Picture

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
Vanity Fair

This is the image from Vanity Fair’s October-issue article that explains “Why Late-Night Comedy Is Better Than Ever.” I really love it. And the more I look, the more I love it. It’s just so rare that a single photograph so perfectly captures a cultural phenomenon. There’s a simple poetry to the whole thing, don’t you think?

So many fellas
With suits and whiskey and smiles.
“Better than ever.”