Sunday, January 23, 2005

Goodnight, Johnny

Johnny Carson has passed away. He set the standard for late night television with his monologues that captured the zeitgeist of the time. The show was reassuring and funny and corny. But Johnny was the person who held it together. He was a private man who seemed to put all of his energy publicly into the show. He didn't do lots of interviews or appearances, but retired and preserved his legend. The consumate performer, he apparently was still writing jokes that David Letterman would use in his monologues. I'll never forget the final broadcast that Carson did of The Tonight Show. The format was so familiar that a change to it was shocking. Johnny walked out and sat on a stool and talked. It was amazing, moving, personal and real. I don't think that it was until that moment that I realized that there was a difference between the public and private Johnny Carson. He shared a bit more then and I'll never forget it. I missed Johnny from late night tv since he left and now I miss him a bit more.
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