Skip to comments.Documentary reveals a different side of late night king Johnny Carson
Posted on 05/07/2012 8:48:37 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Johnny Carson taking over The Tonight Show stage from Jack Paar. It is also the 20th anniversary of Carsons retirement. But how much do most people really know about the television legend away from the lights and cameras?
In a new documentary, American Masters Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, filmmakers Peter Jones and Susan Lacy peel back the many layers of the comedians life and career, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the man who won the collective heart of a nation.
The gift Johnny had was that he just had a magical way of connecting with the audience in a way no one had done before, or has done since, Jones told FOX411s Pop Tarts column. He was able to connect with everyone -- from young and old -- while maintaining his own sense of self. He was the most famous man in America, and yet we really didnt know who he was.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Johnny Carson learned his timing and brand of humor from Jack Benny. They were good friends over the years. You can google that. Here’s a classic piece from 1955 with the two of them, when Johnny had been in show business only two years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUd1-_91YTk
“You drive to the Slauson Cutoff, get out of your car, cut off your Slauson.....”
Heh. Same here. Dad never watched anything except Carson -- till Benny Hill came along.
Question: "What do hunters look for when tracking a Yabba Dabba?"
"Emissaries, dignitaries, luminaries, janissaries, and dromedaries."
Ed (reading contents):
"Describe a Middle East peace conference."
(OK, it's one I wish they'd done.)
He never interrupted.
He never mocked or belittled ANYone.
He wasn't political.
He had a sexuality that made women swoon.
He had GREAT timing.
He loved discovering new comedians.
He was never threatened or jealous of up and coming talent.
He did a HUGE number of charity appearances.
In the 1960s I delivered the newspaper for 3 years. We were told to deliver the news until a customer called and officially canceled the paper. Jack Webb paid me once. It was only $1.65 a month.
On the other hand, a good friend of mine worked on Johnny Carsons house in Malibu after he retired. Johnny would often come out and just chat with my friend. He let them take pictures with him and my friends wife that they proudly displayed.
Half the people that I know are in the entertainment industry and Johnny Carson was a class act.
While we are on this subject, may I ask for your prayers for Lyle Wagner. He has cancer and this is one of the greatest men I have ever known. Hope I dont get in trouble for posting this, but Lyle meant a great deal to my family.
Johnny comes out, does his Monologue and announces a new Sponsor, “Curtis Mathis”. He completely flubs the name a few times, finally corrects himself and then they go to Commercial.
He stands there for a few seconds, looks over at Ed McMahon and says, “Oh shit, so much for that Sponsor”. The audience howled in laughter and Johnny just stood there shaking his head in embarrassment. He always came off as genuine, and for some reason that moment proved it to many people there.
I never went to bed without at least catching Johnny’s monologue.
In the late 70’s my friend’s sister and her husband lived out in Beverly Hills and their best friends were Johnny Carson, Gene Wilder and Gene Hackman. She spent time out there every year on vacation and she said Johnny Carson was very quiet and introverted and he just wanted to play tennis everyday. Her sister had a great court so he was over there almost every day in his tennis outfit.
For the undiscovered, they were just supposed to do their act, and then exit stage left.
In was considered a major coup, if they could get Johnny to laugh. You could always hear the distinctive JC laugh in the background. Better yet, was to score such a success that Johnny would invite you over to the couch for a brief chat.
Occasionally, when he was really bombing, the band would start playing and he would do a soft shoe routine as a last resort. Cracked me up every time.
Yep. Just about every famous comedian working today including Dave Letterman, Jay Leno, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Paul Reiser, Robin Williams, Ellen, Jerry Seinfeld and on and on, got “called over” to the couch. Some were told they could stay there for the rest of show. Show biz heaven.
thanks for those memories :)
Just beyond talented:
Johnny Carson & Julio Iglesias - “To All the Girl’s I’ve Loved Before” on “The Tonight Show” - 1984
She replied, "I kiss his balls".
Carson responded, "I'll bet that makes his putter stand on end".
In addition, unlike these others, Carson was never ideological, petty or just plain mean.
Carson was great. One thing that saddened me was when he announced the older shows were lost because NBC reused the tapes.
Without looking it up, I believe the line was something like “I’ll bet that straightens out his putts(putz)”
Such codswallop. This is the standard dime-store psychiatric analysis of just about every notable person in the world. "He never got the approval of [either or both parents], which caused him to [whatever]." No way to disprove such an assertion, but little reason to believe it, either.
Supposedly, the whole story is bogus. It never happened. Guess I heard that somewhere and fell for it. Still makes for a great story.
I am very grateful that I still was able to see many of the great ones while growing up in the 60's and 70's. Young people today are exposed to so little talent and have no clue as to what they have missed.
Great minds and such...!
I like how Johnny vanished off the radar after he retired....not one of those performers who feels the need to be “on.”
IIRC they claimed that was the longest sustained laughter ever on the show.
Johnny Carson & Ed Ames
I know for a fact that the story has been around a lot longer than the internet. I have been telling it for years, decades even. Probably will continue to do so since it is such a great story. LOL
Johnny Carson seeing the misplaced throw commented, “I didn’t even know you were Jewish” and followed that quip with “Welcome to Frontier Bris!”
I miss Jack Paar, too.
“The wrong kid died!”
“I should have been a better father to you, Dewey. I wish I spent more time playing catch with you and less time training my body and mind to kill you in a machete fight. You be a better father than I was, Dewey.”
From Walk Hard
Very, very underrated movie.
First thing I thought of when the poster made the comment about any biopic seeking out any conflict with a parent and attempting to magnify it, was “Walk the Line’.
Conflict IS the source of drama - but it can get a little out there - thus my SECOND thought was of “Walk Hard” and the haunting phrase “the wrong kid died!”.
The line about training his body and mind made me laugh so hard it hurt!
Beautiful. I have not seen that clip in years. Brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for posting.
CARNAC (Reading the question): "What forms on your dippity in the morning?"
LOL....I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that that was written by Pat McCormick.
I agree with that. Stern will ask questions nobody else will dare to ask. Yet he has such as way with loosening up the people he is interviewing that in most cases, they will give him serious answers.
I wish 40% of his show wasn't about boobs and other nonsense, or I'd tune in more frequently. But for now, you can type Howard Stern interview into YouTube search engine with just about any public figure and something will come up.