Johnny Carson

Talk show host Johnny Carson

John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host and comedian, known for thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Emmy Awards, the Governor Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993.
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Classic Hollywood: The timeless humor of Johnny Carson captured on new DVD sets
LATimes - 5 months
Johnny Carson was very much a political animal — but one from another era. Watching the repeats of vintage “The Tonight Show” episodes on Antenna TV or Time-Life’s upcoming DVD collections “Johnny and Friends: The Complete Collection” and “The Vault Series, Vols. 1-6,” shows how his political humor...
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 LATimes article
The Word TV Censors Didn't Want Roseanne To Say On Air
Huffington Post - 9 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Roseanne Barr has always been a trailblazer. Throughout her career, the comedian often broached topics that made FCC censors deeply uncomfortable, and one of those topics was the wildly distressing idea of... menstruation. In February of 1989, Roseanne’s self-titled ABC sitcom ― which is getting a reboot slated for 2018 ― aired an episode that focused on her 11-year-old TV daughter, Darlene, getting her first period. As Roseanne told Oprah in an interview...
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Comedy Legend Don Rickles Dead At 90
Huffington Post - 11 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Comedy legend Don Rickles died after suffering kidney failure at his Los Angeles home on Thursday morning, his publicist Paul Shefrin announced. He was 90 years old. The Emmy-Award winning comedian is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, who was reportedly by his side at the time of his death, and his daughter, Mindy Mann. He would have turned 91 on May 8. Rickles was an industry mainstay since the early ‘60s, first making a name for himself in t...
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 Huffington Post article
Robert Osborne Wasn't Just Our Host For The Movies. He Was Our Date.
Huffington Post - 12 months
Robert Osborne showed us why television, more than any other medium, turned hosts into stars. Osborne, who died Monday at the age of 84, wrote or compiled more than a dozen books about the movie biz. But what endeared him to anyone who loved movies was his long-running role as a host on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and, before that, on The Movie Channel.   Before the latest showing of Casablanca, or during a night of Joan Blondell, Greta Garbo, Gary Cooper or Elizabeth Taylor flicks, Osborne would pop up as the genial host. He would summarize the historic value and artistic merit of the film, usually interspersed with fun facts about its casting or filming. These short monologues were often masterpieces. They were not, however, the primary reason we loved Robert Osborne. We loved him because in very important ways, he was a dear friend who had picked out these wonderful movies just for us. Television at its best invites itself into the viewer’s home, bringing th...
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A Look Back At 28 Memorable 'Soul Train' Performances
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In 1970, Don Cornelius created the first musical television show catered to black audiences with the cultural phenomenon of “Soul Train.” Launched as a local television program in Chicago in 1970, the music variety show ― hosted by Cornelius ― was syndicated in other national markets a year later and it ran until 2006. Similar to Dick Clark’s music-performance show “American Bandstand,” “Soul Train” featured guests dancing to latest music hits and served as a platform to showcase black music acts, including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Janet Jackson, and Destiny’s Child.  The influential show also spawned the creation of the Soul Train dance line and, eventually became the longest running nationally-syndicated music program in television history. Cornelius said during a 2010 USA Today interview that he launched the show to give viewers an alternative to then-popular talk shows, “The Mike Douglas Show,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” which were mostly target...
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 Huffington Post article
Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, Famous for Antichoking Technique, Dies at 96 - New York Times
Google News - about 1 year
New York Times Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, Famous for Antichoking Technique, Dies at 96 New York Times Dr. Heimlich demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver on Johnny Carson in 1979. Credit Gene Arias/NBC, via Getty Images. It is called the Heimlich maneuver — saving a choking victim with a bear hug and abdominal thrusts to eject a throat obstruction — and ... Henry Heimlich, life-saving maneuver creator, dies at 96Atlanta Journal Constitution Dr. Heimlich, The Man Behind The Life-Saving Maneuver, DiesNPR Henry Heimlich, Developer Of Anti-Choking Maneuver, Dead At 96Huffington Post New York Daily News -KOMO News -fox2now.com -U.S. News & World Report all 120 news articles »
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Nonfiction: A New Biography of Joan Rivers
NYTimes - about 1 year
Leslie Bennetts’s “Last Girl Before Freeway” revisits milestones in Joan Rivers’s life, like her childhood, marriage and famous break with Johnny Carson.
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 NYTimes article
Comic and Playwright Lisa Lampanelli- My Play "Stuffed" Shows That We're All Really Still Working On Ourselves"
Huffington Post - over 1 year
The word "metamorphosis" does not even do Lisa Lampanelli justice. From notorious roaster to playwright, Lampanelli is slowly moving to a more centered direction with her play "Stuffed" focusing on four women with varied eating issues, but still keeping her signature razor sharp wit on stage during her stand up. Lampanelli sat down to chat with me about her new play "Stuffed", her absolute adoration for Howard Stern, and how she is learning to not compare herself to anyone else at all. You have gone through a complete transformation, both personally and professionally. You appeared recently on "The Wendy Williams Show" and looked absolutely stunning! Yes, thank you! My boobs will never match hers though, I'll tell you that! (laughs). Basically, I think some of the weight helped take some of the walls down in reality, so basically I got a little more confident. I'm definitely not super confident, but I am confident that I don't have to hide behind those layers of fat and...
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Shecky Trump
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Last night's Al Smith dinner in NYC revealed the final piece of the puzzle about Donald Trump. He has no sense of humor. As a comedy writer by trade who has made his entire career out of making people laugh,  like most other comedy writers I take the job very seriously. There are all kinds of humor, both high and low and you pretty much get what you pay for.  There is no accounting for personal taste and I think what we gravitate towards, comedically reflects the things that made us laugh right out the gate. Growing up, my parent's comedy was mine too.  I grew up adoring Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, The Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, Bob and Ray, the parade of swaggering comics on Ed Sullivan like Alan King and Henny Youngman until I went my own way when youth co-opted comedy and suddenly comics were rock stars in arenas, from Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Garry Shandling to Dice Clay and man the first year of SNL...
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Me and Auntie Mame in New York
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Every kid needs an Auntie Mame. My Auntie Mame was born in 1895. Her name was Dorothy and she was my grandfather's sister. She took a liking to me from the very beginning. In fact, when I was first learning to walk my mother and Dorothy were on opposite sides of the room and each called out to me to come to them. Since I had two choices, I couldn't go to both, so I headed towards Dorothy. Perhaps as a toddler I knew that one day Dorothy would treat me to 3 days in Manhattan. As for Mom, she was gracious about the slight. After all, since I lived with Mom I saw her everyday but that was not the case with Dorothy. Aunt Dorothy was really my introduction to the world. When I was 13, she announced that she wanted to take me to New York City for a long weekend. Mom had no problems about letting me go, since I was already spending several weekends a year at Aunt Dorothy's apartment in Philadelphia. In a sense I grew up having two mothers. When at last the coveted Manha...
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 Huffington Post article
Ritch Shydner: Veteran Comedian And Chronicler Of The 1980s Comedy Boom
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Comedian Ritch Shydner All photos courtesy of Ritch Shydner Ritch Shydner's new book, "Kicking Through The Ashes: My Life as a Stand-up in the 1980s Comedy Explosion", has just been published. In the 1980s, Ritch made numerous appearances on TV, including "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show" with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. He did an HBO half-hour special, "One Night Stand." He played Al Bundy's co-worker on "Married with Children", and made guest appearances on many other TV shows, such as "Designing Women" and "Roseanne." Ritch was able to translate his modest success on TV into an obscure film career, appearing in Steve Martin's, "Roxanne," and Eddie Murphy's, "Beverly Hills Cop II," before moving on to minor roles on smaller pictures. Ritch wrote for sitcoms such as "Roseanne", "The Jeff Foxworthy Show," and HBO's "The Mind of the Married Man." He wrote material for Jeff Foxworthy's Grammy-nominated comedy albums, "Totally Committed," and "Big...
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 Huffington Post article
A Chat with Veteran Comedy Writer Extraordinaire (The Jerk, Jaws, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour) Carl Gottlieb
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Carl Gottlieb Screenwriter, director, and actor Carl Gottlieb shared an Emmy Award in 1969 for outstanding writing achievement in comedy, variety, or music, for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. For his work writing (with Peter Benchley) the iconic 1975 movie Jaws, he received a Golden Globes Award nomination and British Academy Award nomination. His movie writing credits also include: Which Way is Up? Jaws II, The Jerk, Caveman, Dr. Detroit, and Jaws 3-D. His TV writing work includes episodes of The Odd Couple, The Bob Newhart Show, and various Flip Wilson specials. He has directed Ringo Starr in Caveman, been an original member of the iconic comedy improve troupe The Committee, and written the books The Jaws Log, and (with David Crosby), Long Time Gone: The Autobiography of David Crosby. Carl has served as Vice-President, Treasurer, and member of the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. ...
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 Huffington Post article
PBS Documentary on Loretta Lynn Recounts the Debt Modern Country Music Owes to 'Fist City'
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Loretta Lynn won America's affection with the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter. Now the producers of a new PBS documentary want her to also score a little more of America's admiration. "Besides being a wonderful, genuine person, Loretta is underrated as an artist and particularly as a songwriter," says executive producer Elliott Halpern from Yap Films, which made Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl. That documentary debuts at 9 p.m. ET Friday in the PBS "American Masters" series, marking the start of Women's History Month and coming just six weeks ahead of Lynn's 84th birthday. Lynn launched her music career a little on the late side. She married at 15 and had four children by the age of 20, which was why she didn't around to having her first country hit, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," until 1960, when she was 28. Over the next 20 years, she scored 16 No. 1 hits while becoming a larger-than-life American personality. One vintage clip in Still a Mountain Girl shows her compl...
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 Huffington Post article
On the Love Train With Cornel West
Huffington Post - about 2 years
I first met "brother" Cornel in May of 2000. I was in the early years of my career as an English teacher, working in the kind of troubled NYC ghetto schools where, according to Cornel West, "poor kids get trained"--unlike wealthy schools where "rich kids get taught." The setting for our life-changing encounter was a church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This is fitting, given the deep theological nature of Cornel's work as a philosopher, activist, and public intellectual. After his lecture, at a conference with the hopeful title "Reimagining Politics & Society at the Millennium" (sponsored by the current chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, Michael Lerner), I approached the podium tentatively. In a country low on public intellectuals, unlike France, I had little prior experience in meeting someone like West who, let's face it, might even be the most famous and important American intellectual we have. Nervously, not knowing what to expect, I approach...
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 Huffington Post article
Potty Talk for Donald and His Disciples
Huffington Post - about 2 years
A brief history of the schlong and the bathroom as they relate to Donald Trump and his most recent comments. Trump recently made linguistic history, first, mocking Hillary for a "disgusting" bathroom trip she made during Saturday night's debate, and describing Barack Obama as having "schlonged" her in the 2008 primaries: "She was favored to win and she got schlonged," he said. Part deux was about Hillary's sojourn in the bathroom. Remarking on Clinton's late return to the podium after her visit there during a commercial break at this weekend's Democratic debate, Trump said, "I know where she went. It's disgusting. I don't want to talk about it. It's disgusting." First, as to having been "schlanged," Mr. Trump, alas, knows not of what he speaks. He is clearly unfamiliar with bawdy language, especially those words based in Yiddish. As a public service, we offer a crash course on the topic. There are many good ways of describing Trump in Yiddish. The best would be as...
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 Huffington Post article
Melissa Rivers On Channeling Her Late Mother In Fiery 'Joy' Cameo
Huffington Post - about 2 years
About halfway through "Joy," David O. Russell's new movie about the struggling single mother who created the Miracle Mop, the title character lands a deal with QVC. She will be given the chance to peddle her invention on television, and the first time she is ushered backstage, Joy quickly finds herself face to face with the network's most famous representative: Joan Rivers.  Just over a year since the brassy comedian's death, it's uncanny to see such a larger-than-life personality portrayed on the big screen -- and even more so because it's Melissa Rivers, Joan's daughter, who plays her.  Not long after Joan died of complications during a routine throat operation, Melissa received a message from her agent saying that Russell and producer John Davis wanted to meet with her. Melissa had known Davis for years, but she found herself "tongue-tied" in the director's company. They discussed Joan's life and QVC tenure, but it wasn't until Melissa was driving home that she realized Rus...
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 Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Johnny Carson
    THIRTIES
  • 2005
    The 2005 film The Aristocrats was dedicated to Carson.
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    In August 2010, the charitable foundation created by Johnny Carson reported receiving $156 million from a personal trust established by the entertainer years prior to his January 2005 death.
    At 6:50 am PST on January 23, 2005, Carson died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of respiratory failure arising from emphysema.
  • 2002
    He was 79, and had revealed his terminal illness to the public in September 2002.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    On March 19, 1999, Carson suffered a severe heart attack at his home in Malibu, California, and was hospitalized in nearby Santa Monica, where he underwent quadruple-bypass surgery.
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  • 1996
    Carson was the first person to contact Sagan's wife Ann Druyan with condolences when the scientist died in 1996.
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  • 1992
    In addition, the final image of the show, as well as some "More to Come" bumpers, of Carson's last show on May 22, 1992, featured a photo Richard had taken.
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    Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993.
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  • 1991
    Carson had three sons, Christopher, Cory, and Richard. All three sons were from his first marriage. Richard Carson died on June 21, 1991, when his car plunged down a steep embankment along a paved service road off Highway 1 near Cayucos, California.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1987
    On June 20, 1987, Carson married Alexis Maas.
  • 1985
    The divorce case finally ended in 1985 with an 80-page settlement, Holland receiving $20 million in cash and property.
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    Carson sold both of his stations between 1985 and 1986 with KVVU-TV (FOX 5) going to The James Meredith Corporation and KNAT being sold to Trinity Broadcasting Network.
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  • 1982
    Carson's second station, independent KNAT-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was purchased in 1982.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1979
    Carson was head of a group of investors who purchased and operated two television stations. The first was KVVU-TV in Henderson, Nevada, an independent station serving Las Vegas, acquired by the Carson group in 1979.
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  • 1974
    Carson apologized in January 1974 for the incident, which became what The New York Times called a "classic study" of how rumors spread.
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  • 1973
    In December 1973, Carson joked on Tonight about an alleged shortage of toilet paper.
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  • 1972
    At the Carson Tonight Show 10th-anniversary party on September 30, 1972, Carson announced that former model Joanna Holland and he had been secretly married that afternoon, shocking his friends and associates. Bob Newhart kidded that he had married three similarly named women to avoid "having to change the monogram on the towels." On March 8, 1983, Holland filed for divorce.
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    Though Carson's program was based in Burbank beginning in 1972, NBC's editing and production services for the program were located in New York, resulting in the requirement that Carson's program be transmitted from Burbank to New York.
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  • 1971
    After July 1971, Carson stopped hosting shows five days a week.
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  • 1970
    As he explained in 1970, "In my living room I would argue for liberalization of abortion laws, divorce laws, and there are times when I would like to express a view on the air.
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  • OTHER
  • 1962
    Although he continued to have doubts about his new job, Carson became host of Tonight (later becoming The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson) on October 1, 1962, and, after a difficult first year, overcame his fears.
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    Carson can be seen discussing his upcoming job for the first time on the February 11, 1962, episode of What's My Line?
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    Bob Newhart, Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx, and Joey Bishop all declined, as well, but NBC finally convinced Carson to sign by early February 1962.
  • 1958
    In 1958, he appeared as a guest star in an episode entitled "Do You Trust Your Wife" on NBC's short-lived variety show, The Polly Bergen Show.
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  • 1955
    In 1955, Jack Benny invited Carson to appear on one of his programs during the opening and closing segments.
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  • 1954
    In 1954, Skelton during rehearsal accidentally knocked himself unconscious an hour before his live show began, and Carson successfully filled in for him.
  • 1953
    In 1953, comic Red Skelton—a fan of Carson's "cult success" low-budget sketch comedy show, Carson's Cellar (1951 to 1953) on KNXT—asked Carson to join his show as a writer.
  • 1951
    The wife of one of the Omaha political figures Carson spoofed owned stock in a radio station in Los Angeles, and in 1951 referred Carson to her brother, who was influential in the emerging television market in southern California.
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  • 1950
    He began his broadcasting career in 1950 at WOW radio and television in Omaha, Nebraska.
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  • 1949
    Carson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in radio and speech with a minor in physics in 1949.
  • 1948
    In 1948, Carson married Joan Wolcott. The marriage was volatile, with infidelities committed by both parties, and ended in divorce in 1963. Carson married Joanne Copeland the same year, on August 17. After a second protracted divorce proceeding in 1972, Copeland received a settlement of $6000 per month in alimony until she remarried or until Johnny's death (she received it until his death in 2005).
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  • 1943
    Carson joined the United States Navy on June 8, 1943, received V-12 Navy College Training Program officer training at Columbia University and Millsaps College.
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  • 1925
    Carson was born on October 23, 1925, in Corning, Iowa, to Homer Lloyd "Kit" Carson (1899-1983), a power company manager, and Ruth (Hook) Carson (1901-1985), who was of Irish descent.
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