Farewell Johnny!

Johnny Carson, who died yesterday at age 79, will be missed by many. And not just in Hollywood.

Born in 1955, I was a TV addict and grew up with Johnny during the 1960's. It was a milestone when I was permitted to stay up late with my dad to watch The Tonight Show, a program considered to be adult entertainment back then.

His cavalcade of guests was a chronicle of the three decades from 1962 to 1992. Many of my favorites appeared, including Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Dick Cavett, Gary Schandling, Burt Reynolds, Steve Martin, Dom DeLuise and Robin Williams.

Not only was Carson a great TV personality, he perfected the opening monologue. He was the master of facial expressions and silence. He could "kill" without saying a word.

His "Mighty Carson Art Players" ensemble was a hoot. And I especially loved his characters such as Carnak. But the best was lovable Aunt Blabby.

He was unafraid of physical stunts and would often subject himself to potentially dangerous ones. Whenever he had guests from the local zoo, from monkeys to birds to baby tigers, hilarity would result.

Johnny, I'll miss you! Godspeed.


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