Tag Archives: David Letterman

“What Made You a Star?” “I Started Out in a Gaseous State, and Then I Cooled”

Johnny Carson? Kenneth Tynan? David Letterman? Ed McMahon?

Dear Quote Investigator: A prominent show business personality was once asked how he or she became a star. The reply was a very funny absurdist remark about astrophysical star formation. Do you know who made this response?

Quote Investigator: In 1968 English theatre critic Kenneth Tynan wrote about U.S. television host Johnny Carson in the pages of “The Observer” of London. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

This complicated man has total aplomb. He was once asked, not without aggression: “What made you a star?” Blandly, he replied, “I started out in a gaseous state, and then I cooled.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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  1. 1968 May 26, The Observer, Shouts and Murmurs by Kenneth Tynan, Quote Page 30, Column 3, London, Greater London, England. (Newspapers_com)