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RIP Johnny Carson

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  • rbrfab
    Since Carson has just been mentioned in a post, I thought somebody might be interested to read the obituary I saw yesterday in the British Guardian newspaper.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 26, 2005
      Since Carson has just been mentioned in a post, I thought somebody
      might be interested to read the obituary I saw yesterday in the
      British Guardian newspaper. His comments on democracy were new to
      me and worth reading! Aren't there trailers for his show as well as
      Ed McMahon during the closing theme music on some of the original
      audio tapes from Search's first showing?

      Richard



      Obituary

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      -----------
      Johnny Carson

      American television's most popular and long-enduring show host

      Christopher Reed
      Monday January 24, 2005
      The Guardian

      For almost 30 years, the last person that millions of Americans saw
      before they went to sleep was Johnny Carson, hosting his Tonight
      television chat show on NBC. In it, Carson, who has died aged 79,
      honed an apparently effortless technique that influenced comedians
      and interviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
      Such was his popularity that his final show, on May 21 1992, became
      almost a national day of mourning, with Bette Midler singing a
      lament as he left the studio in Burbank, Los Angeles.

      Carson represented 17% of NBC's profit, and it took two leading
      comedians to replace him: Jay Leno at Tonight and his rival for that
      job, David Letterman, who departed for his own late show at CBS.

      Lean and self-contained, Carson developed an opening monologue in
      which he would comment coolly, but hilariously, on what was
      preoccupying America. He appeared more liberal than he was by
      cleverly anticipating changes in public attitude and knowing when a
      controversial topic, such as opposition to the Vietnam war, was
      gaining mass approval. His constant, wounding, cracks about Richard
      Nixon probably contributed to the president's downfall.

      Although he was one of America's most popular figures during his
      reign at Tonight from October 1962 (first guest: Groucho Marx) until
      the last show, he almost disappeared after that. He did write a few
      humorous articles in the New Yorker in 2000, after surviving
      quadruple by-pass surgery in 1999, but mostly he kept to his Malibu
      home, with his fourth wife, Alexis. He also contributed quietly to
      charities and established a theatre at his old high school.

      His previous three wives and his often disastrous business
      investments, which included John De Lorean's fated Northern Ireland
      car-building enterprise, were the source of rueful jokes. His third
      wife took him for a reported $20 million, but he remained good
      humored about it, which further endeared him to Americans.

      Only once did this sunny disposition crack, when he displayed a copy
      of the National Enquirer, denounced its report of his marriage
      difficulties as "lies", and challenged them to sue. They did not.
      The marital humour also went the other way. He acknowledged that he
      met his fourth wife when she strolled past his Malibu home, but wags
      said it was her fifth pass - in a bikini.

      Although the show was always tightly scripted, Carson was capable of
      spontaneous wit. After a man ran naked across the set during the
      streaking craze of the 1970s, and was promptly arrested by police,
      Carson cracked he would not be prosecuted "for lack of evidence".

      A private man behind the public banter, he hid his true feelings, an
      act of heroic modesty considering his huge potential influence. But
      after he had given his notice to NBC, and his final show approached,
      he delivered a laconic message about democracy that is worth
      repeating.

      He compared it to buying "a big house you can't afford, with money
      you don't have, to impress people you wish were dead. And, unlike
      communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective
      political party; it means having two ineffective political parties.

      "Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them
      something to hold on to, usually a mop or a leaf blower. It means
      that with proper timing and scrupulous bookkeeping, anyone can die
      owing the government a huge amount of money... Democracy means free
      television, not good television, but free... And finally, democracy
      is the eagle on the back of a dollarbill, with 13 arrows in one
      claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its
      head. This signifies that when the white man came to this country,
      it was bad luck for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck
      for the wildlife, and lights out for the American eagle. I thank
      you."

      Carson was born in Iowa, raised in Nebraska and, while still a
      schoolboy, sent for a conjuring set and entertained his fellow
      pupils as the "Great Carsoni". He spent the latter part of the
      second world war in the US Navy, then went to Nebraska University on
      the GI bill. In 1949, he worked for a radio station in Omaha,
      polishing his repartee before starting his own TV show.

      It lasted only a year but attracted the attention of the famous
      comedian Red Skelton, for whom he wrote jokes. In 1957, that led to
      him hosting a TV game show, Who Do You Trust? After five successful
      seasons, he was offered the job of replacing the formidable Jack
      Paar on Tonight, after standing in for him several times.

      From then on, with an annual income growing to over $15 million, and
      the power to dictate the show's content, switching it from New York
      to California, and reducing the length from 90 to 60 minutes, he
      became a national institution, frequently hosting the Oscars, and
      set for permanent success in his public life.

      Privately, he struggled with alcohol and endured three divorces, the
      first soon after he became a hit on Tonight. In 1991, one of his
      three sons by his first wife, Jody, was killed in a traffic accident.

      He is survived by two sons and four wives.

      ยท John William Carson, television show host, born October 23 1925;
      died January 23 2005
    • dghprobe3
      Here is a list of all the Search closing credits from NBC we have accumulated on audiotape, from three different collectors. I have taken the audio from most
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 26, 2005
        Here is a list of all the "Search" closing credits from NBC we have
        accumulated on audiotape, from three different collectors.

        I have taken the audio from most of these and re-matched them where
        possible to the closing credits video Trevor sent us, and will add
        them as extras to future editions of Search eps we send out on VHS,
        and eventually, on DVD.

        It's kinda eerie seeing and hearing the closing credits this way,
        it's like you're back in 1972-73 again. If anyone else out there has
        audiotapes of Search back in the NBC days, let us know so we can add
        them to the collection.

        09-20-72 "ONE OF OUR PROBES" (from Jim - Dean Martin promo.)
        11-15-72 "THE ADONIS FILE" (from Jim - Ed McMahon promo.)

        The rest of these are from Don's audios, except where noted, and each
        has an Ed McMahon promo, except where noted:

        12-27-72 "ONE OF OUR PROBES IS MISSING" (Repeat)
        04-25-73 "LIVE MEN TELL TALES" (Repeat) (Chet Huntley promo.)
        05-09-73 "MOONROCK" (Repeat)
        05-23-73 "SHORT CIRCUIT" (Repeat)
        06-13-73 "A HONEYMOON TO KILL" (Repeat)
        06-20-73 "MOMENT OF MADNESS" (Repeat) (from Actingman - Ed McMahon)
        06-27-73 "THE 24 CARAT HIT" (Repeat)
        07-11-73 "SUFFER MY CHILD" (Repeat) (from Jon Bach - Ed McMahon)
        07-18-73 "ENDS OF THE EARTH" (Repeat) (Jon - Doc Severinsen promo)
        07-25-73 "THE PACKAGERS" (Repeat)
        08-01-73 "FLIGHT TO NOWHERE" (Repeat)
        08-08-73 "THE CLAYTON LEWIS DOCUMENT" (Repeat)
        08-15-73 "GODDESS OF DESTRUCTION" (Repeat)
        08-29-73 "THE MATTSON PAPERS" (Repeat)

        -------------------------------------
        --- In probe_control, richard.rutherford wrote:
        > ...Aren't there trailers for his show as well as
        > Ed McMahon during the closing theme music on some of the original
        > audio tapes from Search's first showing? --Richard
      • probecontrol@sigecom.net
        An interesting read-- Thanks very much, Richard! Jim Alexander ... somebody ... the ... new to ... well as ... original
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 26, 2005
          An interesting read--

          Thanks very much, Richard!

          Jim Alexander

          =======================================
          >Since Carson has just been mentioned in a post, I thought
          somebody
          >might be interested to read the obituary I saw yesterday in
          the
          >British Guardian newspaper. His comments on democracy were
          new to
          >me and worth reading! Aren't there trailers for his show as
          well as
          >Ed McMahon during the closing theme music on some of the
          original
          >audio tapes from Search's first showing?
          >
          >Richard
          >
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