Johhny Carson, Legendary Talk Show Host Dies at 79
Carson Hosted the Tonight Show for Almost 30 Years
January 23, 2005
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By: O. J. Cunningham
Johnny Carson 1925-2005
I was truly sad to hear that Johnny Carson had died on Sunday.
It was just a day or two ago, that I had read (somewhere) that Carson was still writing jokes for his friend, David Letterman. I remember thinking how cool that was . . . Carson, still involved in television . . . still working his magic . . . still making people smile.
I have watched the Carson "TV Anniversary Specials" for most of my life. I'm old enough to remember Jack Paar, the Tonight Show host that Carson replaced back so many years ago.
It always seemed that Carson's guests enjoyed the show. Carson brought the best in his guests. Carson fed lines to entertainers on his couch and the guest stars responded with lively banter and memorable moments.
According to an internet obituary from the Kansas City Star, "When Jack Paar decided to retire from "Tonight" after 4 years as its host, he said Carson was "the only man who could or should replace me."
At an initial salary of about $100,000 a year, the 36-year-old, 5-foot-10, 155-pound Carson premiered behind TV's most-watched entertainment desk on Oct. 1, 1962. Carson retired from the Tonight Show in 1992 after almost 30 years at the Tonight Show helm.
I'm glad that Dana Carvey does such a beautiful job of impersonating Carson. I would expect that we will more of Carson and Carvey and other impersonators in the next few weeks.
I loved Carson when the unpredictable animals and critter were introduced to Johnny by Joan Embery of the San Diego Zoo or "Wild Kingdom's" Jim Fowler. Monkeys, snakes, birds or lizards -- Carson worked his magic and brought a smile to each and every viewer's lips.
Ed McMahon's "Herrrrrrrrrrreeee's Johnny" is and always willbe a classic.
Here's a Johnny Carson Quiz
to help you remember one of the greatest entertaines of all time.
Columns Article 681
O. J. Cunningham
O. J. Cunningham is the Publisher of MyBayCity.com. Cunningham previously published Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise. He is the President/CEO of OJ Advertising, Inc.
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