Host Johnny Carson performs comedy routines and chats with various celebrities.Host Johnny Carson performs comedy routines and chats with various celebrities.Host Johnny Carson performs comedy routines and chats with various celebrities.Host Johnny Carson performs comedy routines and chats with various celebrities.Host Johnny Carson performs comedy routines and chats with various celebrities.
What I most liked about Johnny was his humble approach to his show. He opened with a monologue, he told his jokes plainly and simply, and waited for the laughter. It usually came. Some times it didn't. When the laughs did not come, he took on that familiar sad look of his, and that became the joke.
I was a working person during the run of his show, but Johnny Carson's tonight show was one that I often stayed up late for, it was that good. When the show was still in New York, he of course told New York jokes. One I remember vividly was during one particular cold winter, Johnny simply said, "It was really cold today." Ed McMahon, his trusty sidekick, asked, "How cold was it?" Johnny answered, "It was so cold today, a cab driver was saying something to a pedestrian and his middle finger froze." Another I remember was, when doing his 'Carnac' routine, the answer was "Four on the floor." The question was, "Describe two 80-year old topless go-go dancers."
Johnny of course went to Los Angeles, and there the show took on another dimension. Johnny was quite a prankster, and played a good one on Ed McMahon, not as part of the Tonight Show, but funny anyway. Ed was "set up" by placing some studio property in the trunk of his car. Leaving the studio, guards made a random trunk check, and "discovered" the stolen property. Johnny Carson actually dressed up as one of the guards, Ed McMahon was so flustered, declaring his innocence, it didn't even register to him that he was face to face with his boss!!
But the best thing I liked about Johnny Carson was his interview style. He was the best ever. He would ask a question then shut up and let the guest talk. He didn't have a big ego, like many current TV personalities, and try to show how much he knew. He simply let the other person talk.
Farewell and Godspeed, Johnny Carson.
- Jan 23, 2005