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Johnny Carson dies


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#41 of 88 OFFLINE   Dave Farley

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Posted January 23 2005 - 06:58 PM

I started watching Johnny Carson around 1979, when I was a child, and kept watching until he retired. He's still the King of latenight. He'll be missed.

The Carson Collection infomercial is the only infomercial I'll actually sit and watch. Just to see the footage.

RIP Johnny Posted Image

#42 of 88 OFFLINE   Ray Chuang

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Posted January 23 2005 - 07:07 PM

I think what made Johnny Carson truly great was his amazing ability to ad lib even when things start to go wrong. Few people I've ever seen in the entertainment industry has this type of gift, that's to be sure.

This is truly the passing of one of the greatest persons in the history of American entertainment. Johnny Carson, you've all done us proud. Posted Image
Raymond in Sacramento, CA USA

#43 of 88 OFFLINE   RickGr

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Posted January 23 2005 - 09:13 PM

Carson was at his best when the joke bombed and/or things went wrong.
Rick

#44 of 88 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted January 24 2005 - 01:53 AM

Johnny was truly one-of-a-kind. He was part of the more innocent, quieter period of late night television. He will be missed. I hope we will have a chance to see more of his late night shows.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.

#45 of 88 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted January 24 2005 - 02:59 AM

One of my fondest memories was watching Johnny Carson with my late father. I could stay up and watch the monologue, and if the Mighty Carson Art Players were on, I could stay up for that.

The one I always remember was Johnny doing Art Fern, the TeaTime Movie Guy. He is selling cemetary plots. He brings out an urn with a blinking red light on top. He calls it the Hooker Urn. The ditzy blond asks him "What's a Hooker Urn?". He responds "About $75 a night, but that's not important now!"

When you watch the Carson DVD's, you realize just how much better he was than anyone doing talk shows today. Leno and Letterman can't hold a candle to Johnny.
Randy T.
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#46 of 88 OFFLINE   Bryan Toth

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Posted January 24 2005 - 04:48 AM

My first exposure to Johnny Carson was when I'd go visit my grandparents when I was young. We'd drive to their house on a Friday evening and wouldn't get there until late, so by the time we finished eating, we'd watch The Tonight Show. At that age, it was really the only time I could stay up that late to watch .... as the years passed, I would watch almost every night. It's funny, but just a few weeks ago (before the reports surfaced about him writing jokes for Dave) I was thinking how much better late-night seemed to be back when he was on the air. He truly was the best and will be missed. Rest in peace, Johnny ....

#47 of 88 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted January 24 2005 - 06:27 AM

I saw some "Great TV Moments" type show on TVLand awhile back which had the final Tonight Show/Bette Midler bit. Very moving, just as it was originally. I always hoped Johnny was having a great retirement, doing exactly what he wanted, but also missed him and selfishly wished he would come out of the shadows and entertain us once more as only he could.

God Bless.

#48 of 88 OFFLINE   Tony Whalen

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Posted January 24 2005 - 06:50 AM

God bless and rest in peace Mr. Carson. Truly a legend, and perhaps more importantly, a gentleman.

A sad day...

#49 of 88 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted January 24 2005 - 12:16 PM

Heard some conjecture on talk shows today regarding how Leno & Letterman would handle tributes to Carson. Problem is...Late Night has a repeat scheduled this evening.
Leno is in an awkward spot, the Tonight Show will claim Johnny as its own, but clearly his heart was with Letterman, he appeared as a guest on Late Night and as we've all just learned was writing material for Dave's monologues.
So, when will Letterman be back?

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Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
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Than riden' the rails."
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#50 of 88 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted January 24 2005 - 01:12 PM

Ray and Rick are right--did anyone ever have better "saves" than Johnny did when things went wrong? Once, as Aunt Blabby, he came out swinging the cane and hit Ed right where the sun doesn't shine. Both of them cracked up--Ed said, "Hey, I've got my responsibilities," and Johnny answered, "Well, you'll have to just take her to dinner and a movie"!

The monologues always had the possibility of a "Tea for Two" soft-shoe if things went really bad. Even the audience would get into it during the monologues, as someone would occasionally whistle an imitation of a falling bomb. I remember one bit where every joke bombed, and Johnny said, "Let me step out of character for a moment," and explained all the hard work and frustration that went into the sketch.

I'm 38 and watched Johnny off and on from the mid-1970s on but almost continuously from the early '80s to his final show. I don't laugh easily, which has been a source of some frustration, but Johnny and his show made me laugh more than anyone or anything else--other comedians, sitcoms, movie comedies, comic strips, books--you name it. That's not to say I don't love or haven't laughed a lot at the Jack Bennys, Red Skeltons and other legends as well as Leno, Letterman and other younger stars, but Johnny was the best, IMHO.

RIP.

#51 of 88 OFFLINE   Robert Saccone

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Posted January 24 2005 - 05:01 PM

I missed the Tonight Show. What did Jay Leno do remember Carson? Letterman was a repeat tonight, is that correct? If not, what did he do?

#52 of 88 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted January 24 2005 - 05:14 PM

Quote:
What did Jay Leno do remember Carson?


Scrapped his usual show. Made some nice opening comments paying homage to his predecessor. Guests included Ed McMahon, Rickles/Newhart, Drew Carey and kd lang.

Lots of clips. I was particularly pleased they showed footage of something I remember watching when it aired the first time: Rickles breaking Johnny's cigarette case and Johnny stopping taping of CPO Sharkey to confront Rickles about it. Hilarious stuff.

The more I've thought about it the last couple of days, the more I realize how much I miss watching the Carson Tonight Show. I never had to turn off half my brain to watch it. I was always entertained and often informed.

Steve
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#53 of 88 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted January 24 2005 - 10:40 PM

I'm glad I watched Leno last night, although it was mostly scripted, everytime a guest had a Carson story there was video of the incident ready to roll.
My favorite moment came when Drew Carey came out, the weight is back on and he really looked like he just woke up.
Drew sat down, leaned over to Jay and blurted, "You know, we're not going to do this for YOU when you die." They genuinely laughed together and Jay said, "I know, maybe I'll get a segment [of the show]"

Has anyone ever seen k.d.lang and Wayne Newton at the same time in the same place? Posted Image

"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#54 of 88 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted January 25 2005 - 12:41 AM

Quote:
Has anyone ever seen k.d.lang and Wayne Newton at the same time in the same place?


I was thinking the same thing! Their resemblance was actually quite unsettling.

Back to Leno. Even though I rarely watch the Tonight Show anymore because I don't like what it's become, Jay is still a pretty classy guy. Given the acrimony over the way the transition was handled, it would have been very easy for Jay to do a single segment on Johnny and be done with it. Instead, he delivered a very moving tribute. When he said that there was nobody he wanted to please more than Johnny I felt sorry for him because you got the feeling Jay never got that reassurance he was looking for. Certainly not in the post 1992 environment.

Steve
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#55 of 88 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted January 25 2005 - 08:57 AM

Quote:
When he said that there was nobody he wanted to please more than Johnny I felt sorry for him because you got the feeling Jay never got that reassurance he was looking for.
i barely remember that whole deal. did carson not want leno to take over???
 

#56 of 88 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted January 25 2005 - 09:15 AM

Quote:
i barely remember that whole deal. did carson not want leno to take over???
David Letterman was then the Late Night Show host and for a long time had been widely regarded as Johnny Carson’s successor. On Jay Leno’s first night (after he took over the reins from Carson), his graciousness was notable by its absence (he did not thank Carson and actually made it through the show without mentioning him at all). It did not take Letterman long to switch to CBS after being relegated to the late night time spot. This is of course, why there was recently the big deal about Conan O’Brian succeeding Leno. NBC has learned at least that they need to keep their talent happy. It remains to be seen if that will really happen of course.

Many speculated at the time that Carson preferred Letterman, and that Leno was miffed. I have no knowledge. However Carson has been recently quoted as saying that he still thinks of jokes—and sends them to Letterman (who includes them in his monologue). No one has suggested that he sent jokes to Leno.

On this occasion, Leno (no matter if he loved or hated Carson) had no choice but to pay tribute to Carson.

From a stylistic perspective, I’ve always thought that Letterman was much closer to Carson (than Leno). No doubt Leno is a better stand-up comic, but Letterman engages in the same kind of silliness that Carson oft did.
¡Time is not my master!

#57 of 88 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted January 25 2005 - 10:44 AM

nice summary lew..that clears it up. i do get the sense that maybe leno would have enjoyed that "seal of approval" ... but i think he's done just fine on his own.

i won't turn this into a leno vs letterman debate, so we'll just leave it at that. Posted Image
 

#58 of 88 OFFLINE   LewB

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Posted January 26 2005 - 01:34 AM

NBC news had a piece last night about all the money that Carson gave his home town. It was amazing ! There was the Carson theatre, the Carson library, the Carson cancer center addition to the local hospital. They said it was around $5 million worth of donations.

#59 of 88 OFFLINE   dany

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Posted January 26 2005 - 01:42 AM

Boy,TiVo and JC,a perfect match. Havent watched late night because he was the best and it was downhill after he left. I've tried the others but its just not JC. I would rather watch his old stuff{and i do}.
Get In My Belly.

#60 of 88 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted January 26 2005 - 03:45 AM

It's too bad I was too young to stay up late and watch Carson on a nightly basis. I'll miss him.


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