Sunday, January 23, 2005

Late Night Will Never Be The Same...

The Answer: Every single one of us...

The Question: Who will miss Johnny Carson?

If you are anywhere near my age, one of your earliest memories of "staying up late" is the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Like me, you probably didn't understand most of the jokes, thought all the sitting around and talking was boring, and couldn't figure out why that other guys was always saying, "Hey-O!", but it was a thrill to be watching TV after midnight none the less.

As I got older, I grew to appreciate Johnny's opening monologues and the tongue-in-cheek shots he'd take at the newsmakers of the time. I especially got a kick out of the countless crazy guests that would be inflicted upon Johnny... From monkeys that pulled his hair, to borderline-psychotic inventors whose contraptions had more of a chance of maiming Johnny that doing what they were built for. The best times were when Carson would turn to the camera with his patented, "Get me outta here!" look in his eyes.

I think that's probably the biggest reason that we loved him so much... He wasn't just doing his show for the people in the studio audience... He was connecting with each and every faceless viewer around the globe, letting them be a part of the experience. He was a true master of his trade.

Johnny Carson kept us entertained for a phenomenal 30 years before practically disappearing into retirement in 1992. And, though the show goes on with Jay Leno at the helm, I still occasionally pine for the days of Carson, Doc, and Ed MacMahon. But, I guess he's makin' 'em laugh in a better place now... If you listen closely, I bet you can here St. Peter opening the pearly gates with a hearty,

"Heeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!"

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