Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here's Johnny

Last night I watched the two hour PBS program American Masters about Johnny Carson. In a Jay Leno world I sure miss him. From 1962 until 1992 he was how I went to sleep each night.  He was like a warm blanket. In law school I would study till 11 pm and then relax watching Johnny and The Tonight Show before I went to sleep.   No matter how upsetting or hectic or boring  the day had been I always looked forward to a few minuets escape from the cares of the day while I watched his opening monologue.
I remember  Steve Allen the first host of the show and loved Jack Parr who followed.  Parr was very volatile  and you never knew what he was going to do. Maybe not the best way to end the day.  But Johnny was different.  You wanted to be like him.  He was cool and funny. I remember a day I damaged my car and it was very emotional but at the end of the day it was OK because I could watch Johnny and he was always there, except when he had a guest host, which was always a disappointment.

I loved his skits and his many characters, I loved Ed, and Doc. I loved what he did when a joke fell flat and his doing his golf swing. I loved it when the show was in New York and when he would take the show to California for a week before he moved the show there permanently.  In the late 1970's my wife and I went on a NBC tour of the Burbank Studios ("Beautiful downtown Burbank":)) and was so disappointed when I saw how small and cheap the set looked in real life. I loved it when Bill Buckley  and Truman Capote were guests.

Carson told political jokes but was balanced and fair and it was difficult to determine what his political views were. But, it wasn't about politics it was about the fact all of America was there each night for a little fun. All good things come to an end.