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Sunday, January 23, 2005

End of an Era

I can remember the first time I felt like somewhat of a grownup (or perhaps somewhat less of a little kid) was the first time my parents let me stay up to watch Johnny Carson.  I'd been doing it occasionally without permission, but the permission made it clear that I was sometimes allowed to enter this dimly lit, glowing blue, late evening world of grownup humor.

Up until I first watched Johnny Carson, I knew him only by the sound of those around him.  Ed McMahon's "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!"... or "You are correct sir!"... or perhaps my father's breathless belly laugh during the opening monologue... these were the sounds I heard from my bed late at night.  I can remember standing in my pajamas outside the doorway of my parent's bedroom, as the blue light of the TV spilled out into the hallway.   And then one day, when I was old enough... my parents, and Johnny Carson, invited me in.

I learned about politics, showbiz, music and, of course comedy, from Johnny Carson.  He taught a generation of comedians that a sideways glance or a tight-lipped grin could make even a terrible joke funny.

Johnny Carson was, above all, a master of timing.  Even though today, at the relatively young age of 79 he may have rushed his exit from the world's stage, he once again proved the most important rule in show business; 'Alway's leave 'em wanting more.'   


Posted by David Bogner on January 23, 2005 | Permalink


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If you are old enough to have watched Carson you must be really old. ;)

I remember those days as well, hiding in the hallway and watching via the reflection in the window.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 24, 2005 2:44:39 AM

He was a class act. Besides his own legendary carreer, he was largely responsible for starting the carreers of others who have become giants in their own right, like Leno and Letterman.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jan 24, 2005 9:01:41 PM

Nice memories of Johnny... thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Isaac B2 | Jan 24, 2005 9:45:52 PM

Johnny was king. No doubt about that. But he was also a paradox. It makes me sad, that he seemed so unhappy in his private life when he gave so much fun to millions.

Posted by: Amanda Roa | Jan 25, 2005 5:22:47 AM

*sigh* I share the same kind of memory - I too tried to "sneak out" to watch Johnny - but I also remember that first night I was allowed to stay up late to watch him - It was sad when he left the show - but not having him around in the world - I agree is the end of an era...

Posted by: Mrs. Efrex | Jan 30, 2005 4:35:20 AM

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