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I pulled my driveshaft and noticed that there is some side-to-side play in my C4 output shaft, maybe as much as 0.5". How much play is normal here?

Also, how critical is the amount of the yoke which sits inside the tail housing? I swapped from a 3-speed manual to a C4 automatic, and my Ford parts interchange book says the 66 Mustang had a combined driveshaft/yoke length that was about 1.5 inches longer on the manual than on the automatic.
 

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There will be play at the output because the support is so far away but yours sounds excessive. The bushing in the back of the case and some internal bushing may be worn.
Proper measurement for a yoke is too push it all the way in and then pull out approx 3/4 of an inch. this is what I use to measure for a shaft. I have also used them with a total of 1 1/2 inch pull out.
 
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