John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton

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RIP Johnny Carson

I grew up watching Johnny Carson. Like most American teenagers in the 1970s I watched his show every Friday night during the school year, and every night of the week during the summer. I remember all of the comedians that he had on, not to mention the musical acts, authors, great people of the time, people with unusual talents, people who were just a little weird, animals, you name it. I remember the monologue, and how he'd start tap-dancing to "Tea For Two" when all of his jokes would bomb. I remember a little guy named Lucky Peterson who was about seven years old and was one of the funkiest organ players of all time. All of the wonderful, hilarious comedians: Bob Hope, Jack Benny, George Burns, George Gobel, George Carlin, David Brenner, Steve Landesberg, Rodney Dangerfield, Don Rickles... I remember the teenaged girl who said that she was going to do an impression of Herbie Mann, pulled out a flute and so impressed Doc Severinsen that she got to sit in for the rest of the night. Not to mention Art Fern and the "Tea Time Movie" with the incredibly beautiful Carol Wayne, Carnac the Magnificent, lovable old Aunt Blabby, the commercial spoofs that ended with him getting a pie in the face? Or the night that Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise went wild on the show?

My ultimate dream when I was growing up was to do standup comedy on the "Tonight Show" and get the opportunity to sit down with him, which was the ultimate honor.

Often imitated, never duplicated.

God love ya, Johnny. Thanks for all of the memories.

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