Tuesday, January 25, 2005


"And so it has come to this. I am one of the lucky people in the world. I found something that I always wanted to do and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.'"
- Johnny Carson
'The Tonight Show'

Who else could lay claim to the power of their impact that they not only caused a toilet paper shortage in America, but that they were also a plot point in an episode of 'Columbo'?*

The butler played by Maurice Evans in the episode "Forgotten Lady" told the Lieutenant that he and his wife had been watching Carson on the 'Tonight Show' until 1 am at which time he had gone to check on the master of the house.

It not only provided Columbo with a time frame for the death, but it also serves as an historical record for the audience. It wasn't until 1980 (approx.) that the 'Tonight' show was cut back to just one hour.

For the thirty years he hosted 'The Tonight Show' alone, Johnny deserves accolades and honors as a true TV Giant. But there were all those other shows in which he honed his craft before getting that gig - 'Carson's Cellar', 'The Johnny Carson Show', 'Do You Trust Your Wife?'/'Who Do You Trust?'.....

Carson also appeared as himself, on other variety programs, game shows, retrospective specials, or even the many movies that made use of 'Tonight' archival footage.

Here are the main reasons Johnny is going to be eventually inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in a combination of "Classic TV" and "The League of Themselves":

"The Simpsons" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "Krusty Gets Kancelled" (episode # 4.22) 13 May 1993
"Cheers" playing "Himself" in episode: "Heeeeeere's... Cliffy!" (episode # 10.24) 7 May 1992
"Newhart" playing "Himself" in episode: "Malling in Love Again" (episode # 7.22) 22 May 1989
"Night Court" playing "Himself" in episode: "Russkie Business" (episode # 5.18) 25 March 1988
"Mary Tyler Moore" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "Mary's Big Party" (episode # 7.22) 5 March 1977
"Here's Lucy" playing "Himself" in episode: "Lucy and Johnny Carson" (episode # 2.11) 1 December 1969

As the man for whom Carson once wrote jokes would say, "Good night and may God bless."


*If I also covered movies on a regular basis in this blog, of course I would have mentioned Jack Nicholson's blood-curdling version of the classic introduction: "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!"

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