[Re: Loose Cannon: Goodbye Southland Viewers, Direct Newsline Jan. 24, 2005]:
Kudos on your touching eulogy to Johnny Carson.
Like yourself, I used to watch the show at an early and impressionable age, dreaming about the inferred prowess of wearing “Brut” by Faberge, not to mention Art Fern’s “MapQuest-like” driving directions.
Living in the Midwest at the time, Carson’s quips were funny, even aspirational for a young “stud” looking to augment his sophistication quotient. Years later and only after moving to Southern California, did I fully learn to appreciate the “real” humor behind “Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” let alone the reality by which Fern’s driving directions were created.
Carson was a master of imagination and long-term impressions … something today’s hyperbolic and impudent marketing is incapable of achieving, let alone sustaining beyond the noise of a canned laugh track.
MRC Retail Concepts
West Hollywood, CA
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Great column on Johnny, and thanks for including some of his classic bits. My husband always refers to the Slauson cutoff when we are on a road trip – it’s become such a family classic that I had forgotten it came from Carson. What wonderful silliness. Late nite just hasn’t been the same without him.
Write Communications Inc.
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The guy was a legend, and as Letterman said, he set the standard and no one has come near it!
Sr. Director, Credit Operations.
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Great tribute to Johnny. While I was never a huge fan, I could always watch, when up late, and still be more than slightly amused. What he wasn’t was fake; nothing forced. And when something flopped, he was there with great self-deprecating lines. And now ABC wants’ to drop Nightline and Ted Koppel to get back into the late night variety fray- after how many debacles prior to Koppel?
On those rare occasions when I am up late, I watch Letterman. But neither David or Jay is Johnny.
Not that it matters, but one of the few people who might be able to be…
1) Quick enough of wit
2) Sure enough of himself
3) Funny enough for most (no one will be funny enough for all)
4) Fill a late night slot with a chance of success
…is Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart.