Monday, January 24, 2005

Johnny Carson (1925-2005)

Since I've watched three stories about Johnny Carson in the last hour, I thought I would share my thoughts. Back when I was a few years younger and able to stay up past 11:30 on a weeknight, I would watch the Tonight Show. How could you not like the introductory music, Ed McMahon's Here's Johnny, and the golf swing to start the show. Of course being fairly young, I didn't understand many of the jokes. However, his monologue was always great. I loved watching Carson and Ed McMahon do the Carnac bit. It seemed like animals from the San Diego Zoo were on every Friday, and his interaction with the animals was hilarious. There is no comparison between Jay Leno and Carson. There always seemed to be a great rapport between Carson and his guests and Ed. Leno and now Conan O'Brien want to be funnier than their guests. I don't think I've watched Leno in five years. I think David Letterman put it best:

"It's a sad day for his family and his country. All of us who came after are pretenders. We will not see the likes of him again. He gave me a shot on his show and in doing so, he gave me a career. A night doesn't go by that I don't ask myself, 'What would Johnny have done?' He has been greatly missed since his retirement. Thank God for videotapes and DVDs. In this regard, he will always be around. He was the best, a star and a gentleman."

I might try to stay up to 11:30 tonight just to see how the Letterman show starts.

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