EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 8th, 2019 at 2:28:02 AM permalink
Quote: TigerWu

My point was that people only remember the good Carson bits, ignore the 75% of it that was crap,



I watched Carson religiously in the
70's and 80's, he didn't make his
huge salary by delivering 'crap'.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
gordonm888
gordonm888
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beachbumbabs
December 8th, 2019 at 6:28:36 AM permalink
I don't remember any entertainment celebrity being as important to American culture/society/life as Johnny Carson.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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December 8th, 2019 at 6:48:50 AM permalink
Quote: TigerWu

There's a TV station that will rerun old Johnny Carson episodes of The Tonight Show. Everyone always talks about how great Carson was, and how much better he was than Leno or Fallon or whoever, but man, if you just watch some random episode and not a "best of" compilation or anything, some of it is just downright terrible. I can't even watch most of it, it's so bad. The monologues are unfunny, very little laughter in the audience, the guest interviews are awkward, skits are dumb.... I mean, of all the thousands of episodes he did, they obviously can't all be gems, but people are definitely looking at Johnny with rose colored glasses, that's for dang sure.



Were you around in the 70s and 80s?

The monologue was then and remained at least untit Leno, event driven and topical. (I have not seen one episode since Leno left and could not tell you the host of format of the show today.) So yeah, a joke about Lee Iacocca and the mess he was facing at Chrysler will not be funny to you. But it was then. Political jokes were far less dominant then. And yeah, he had a style that was even older , an example would be the "Boy is he X.......................HOW X is he..............................punchline." Writers put more effort into the set-up thaan today,

As to guests, it was guests of the time. Carson leaned more towards having "Hollywood Royalty" who just do not exist today. Charles Nelson Riley was on all the time because he would always, without fail, show up if he got a last minute call when the first choice canceled. I do not remember ever seeing a politician as a guest. Might have been, but I do not remember it. Guests were from the entertainment industry. Mix of Hollywood Royalty and someone topical to give them push.

Here is something most people do not know. Carson for the monologue was barely visible to much of the studio as he did it off to the side, and his set was further from the audience. Took the tour and they stressed how much Leno preferred to be right there with the audience coming from his days in stand-up. Carson liked a buffer. So the Carson show will always seem less intimate than the Leno version. Leno also made the show "harder" with a more brash band and set.

The Leno change was half by accident. For years it called for McMahon to hang around six months to give some transition. Leno decided to tear it down and make it *his* show. New set and the way the transition worked really worked well, Carson and his crew said goodbye and Leno took over the next night, a generational shift. My only gripe there was the plan was for Carson to carry the mic over to Leno (studios are across and down the hall a touch) to "pass the torch." I think it was Carson that refused there.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 8th, 2019 at 10:49:03 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman



As to guests, it was guests of the time. Carson leaned more towards having "Hollywood Royalty" w



Carson was always joking about his
lawyer, and it turns out the guy was
real. And his best friend. The lawyer
wrote a book a few years ago, after
Johnny died. Turns out he was a real
asshat, thought he himself was
Hollywood Royalty. Carried a gun,
was extremely moody, was a jerk
half the time. That affable guy we
saw on the show was a total act.

Ed McMahon alluded to that many
times over the years. People assumed
him and Johnny hung out together,
and McMahon says Carson barely
spoke to him off the set, let alone
wanted to be friends and hang out.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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December 8th, 2019 at 5:45:30 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Carson was always joking about his
lawyer, and it turns out the guy was
real. And his best friend. The lawyer
wrote a book a few years ago, after
Johnny died. Turns out he was a real
asshat, thought he himself was
Hollywood Royalty. Carried a gun,
was extremely moody, was a jerk
half the time. That affable guy we
saw on the show was a total act.



I would not call him Hollywood Royalty for the simple reason he did TV not movies. Sort of just because you have Jesse James on your show does not make you Jesse James. Leno always seemed more authentic. Looking at both I would rather hang out with Leno for an afternoon. Carson may have seemed affable, but he did not seem approachable.

For the last 10 or so years Carson was down to only working 3 days a week. He wanted out but had alimony to pay.

Quote:

Ed McMahon alluded to that many
times over the years. People assumed
him and Johnny hung out together,
and McMahon says Carson barely
spoke to him off the set, let alone
wanted to be friends and hang out.



I think that is way more common in that kind of thing than people think. Even in business when you have a couple guys running an outfit that look close but hate each other.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 8th, 2019 at 11:51:49 PM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman


I think that is way more common in that kind of thing than people think. Even in business when you have a couple guys running an outfit that look close but hate each other.



Carson didn't have any real friends.
In his last years he played poker
once a month with Steve Martin,
Chevy Chase, Martin Short,
Carl Reiner and Neil Simon. Martin
claims Carson was a great friend,
but in show biz that could mean
anything.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
rxwine
rxwine
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December 9th, 2019 at 1:00:09 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Ed McMahon alluded to that many
times over the years. People assumed
him and Johnny hung out together,
and McMahon says Carson barely
spoke to him off the set, let alone
wanted to be friends and hang out.



I heard they did hang out in the early days at least. Visited with the ladies. It was later Carson was known to be more anti-social. He stayed married, but not to the same woman.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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December 9th, 2019 at 5:03:12 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Carson didn't have any real friends.
In his last years he played poker
once a month with Steve Martin,
Chevy Chase, Martin Short,
Carl Reiner and Neil Simon. Martin
claims Carson was a great friend,
but in show biz that could mean
anything.



That is common with men, though. Women pick up differing sets of girlfriends thru life. The friends change, but women far more do things with other women outside the reason for the friendship. For example, women work together and make friends where they actually call each other and do things. This probably stems from women rarely want to go somewhere new alone.

Men don't make friends much after college age. Seinfeld explained it well. "When you are a kid you see another kid and it's like, 'wanna be friends?' But as an adult it's like, 'be friends? Sorry, not taking applications at this time.'" Men over 60 start to make friends, and that is kind of about survival.

I can see this being a reason a guy like Carson had few friends. He had enough money he did not need friends for survival. By "survival" I mean things as simple as a ride back home after a medical visit where they dope you. A ride to the garage to get the car. Carson had that covered. 3 nights a week most of the year doing a show he had all the social interaction any normal person would want.

Carson would be what I consider a normal adult male. Maybe 1-2 "old friends" and the rest of life filled with people you are friendly with but a bare few there you can ask a serious favor of. That's the downside of being male. Upside is unlike women, men do not get catty with each other and drive weaker males into eating disorders.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
TigerWu
TigerWu
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Thanks for this post from:
Forager
December 9th, 2019 at 10:32:16 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

I watched Carson religiously in the
70's and 80's, he didn't make his
huge salary by delivering 'crap'.



Plenty of people make huge salaries delivering crap.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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December 9th, 2019 at 11:26:02 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman


Men don't make friends much after college age. Seinfeld explained it well. "When you are a kid you see another kid and it's like, 'wanna be friends?' But as an adult it's like, 'be friends? Sorry, not taking applications at this time.'" Men over 60 start to make friends, and that is kind of about survival.



I have people I talk to online,
but in real life I haven't had
friends in years. Having friends
30 years ago was a form of
communication, which isn't
needed so much now. We
have lots of ways to communicate.

When you see people with lots
of friends on TV or movies, it's
always young guys of college
age. You see married people
with married friends, but that's
always the women who arrange
that. It's seems like you need lots
of friends when your young so
you can figure things out. As you
get older the need for friends
drops away if you're a male.

I just exchanged weather info
with an online friend in Iowa.
Known him for years, never met,
never will. Way easier than having
in person friends that take up
my time.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal

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