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Johnny Carson Dies


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CBS just had a story on him a couple of days ago about how he still helped Letterman out with his material every now and then giving him a joke or two for the monologues.

It's amazing how he pretty much went into hiding and wasn't one of those attention savvy celebrities who just beg for the spotlight once they're retired.

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This sucks :(

RIP Johnny, hope God gives ya' a proper introduction.

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Johnny Carson (news), the quick-witted "Tonight Show" host who became a national institution putting his viewers to bed for 30 years with a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter and heartland charm, died Sunday. He was 79.

Carson died early Sunday morning, according to his nephew, Jeff Sotzing. "He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable," Sotzing told The Associated Press.

He did not provide further details, but NBC said Carson died of emphysema at his Malibu home.

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What I posted about this at another forum. I've waited this long to really comment since it's really only sunk in.

It's a damn shame that the media is making a bigger deal about his death than it truely is.

Johnny Carson was a recluse. He was naturally shy, and few people know this, but he got extremely nervous infront of large crowds, but he still performed in front of them for 30 years.

He wouldn't want this kind of press coverage. Yes, it's a shame that an American Cultural Icon died, but like I said, he wouldn't want CNN dedicating 23 hours out of their 24 hour programming to him.

RIP Johnny Carson: Few of my generation knew who you were, and that's a damn shame. You're x100000 times better than Leno, Conan & Letterman put together. Without you there would be no Late Night TV, and for making Late Night TV, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You will be missed by millions.

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Guest Bluesman

I don't remember much about him, but I do remember as a kid when my friends and I would stay up late during the week (when there was no school the next day) and always made sure to catch his show. Luckily we held it in higher regard than Star Search, because otherwise I'd feel horribly guilty right now...

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Leno did quite the tribute last night, but I think Craig Ferguson's thoughts were quite eloquent as well. Leno had the benefit of having grown up with Carson and having met him many times, not to mention having the Late Night archives at his disposal, but Ferguson spoke from the heart, and it really was touching. Kudos to both of them, although I'm curious as to John Stewart apparently not mentioning it. I don't consider it shallow to tribute the man, rather a sign of respect to the guy who paved the way, and if it's true that Stewart did nothing but feature him in his "moment of zen", that's a shame.

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Television - AP


Letterman Pays Special Tribute to Carson

2 hours, 46 minutes ago

Add to My Yahoo!  Television - AP

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - David Letterman paid tribute to Johnny Carson (news) on Monday by telling his jokes. On his first "Late Show" since Carson's death on Jan. 23, Letterman's opening monologue was comprised entirely of jokes that Carson had quietly sent to him over the past few months from retirement in California.

AP Photo Photo

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Slideshow  Slideshow: Johnny Carson Dies at 79


Letterman didn't tell the audience until after the monologue was over who wrote the jokes. His guest on Monday's show, former Carson producer Peter Lassally, had revealed a few days before Carson had died that the retired "Tonight" show host missed his nightly monologue and had written jokes for Letterman.

"I moved to Los Angeles from Indianapolis in 1975, and the reason I moved is because of Johnny Carson and the `Tonight' show," Letterman said. "And I'm not the only one. I would guess that maybe three generations of comedians moved to be where Johnny was because if you thought you were funny and you wanted to find out if you could hit major league pitching, you had to be on the `Tonight' show."

Letterman said his first "Tonight" appearance led to his first NBC show.

"Truthfully, no stretch of the imagination, I owe everything in my professional career, whatever success we've attained, to Johnny Carson, because he was nice enough to give me the opportunity, and throughout my career, was always very supportive."

The entire show was devoted to Carson, filled with reminiscences from Lassally and Letterman.

At the end, Carson's old bandleader Doc Severinsen and his band — including put-upon sax player Tommy Newsome — performed one of Carson's favorite songs, "Here's That Rainy Day."

When Carson retired in May 1992, it set up a battle between Letterman and Jay Leno over who would succeed him. NBC chose Leno — but the joke pipeline was an indication that Carson privately considered Letterman the better host.

Letterman's CBS show was in reruns last week, allowing Leno the jump on a late-night Carson tribute. Leno's highly rated show last week included former Carson sidekick Ed McMahon and comics Bob Newhart and Don Rickles.

Letterman said everybody who's doing a talk show, himself included, is secretly doing Carson's "Tonight" show.

"The reason we're all doing Johnny's `Tonight' is because you think, `Well, if I do Johnny's "Tonight" show, maybe I'll be a little like Johnny and people will like me more,'" he said. "But it sadly doesn't work that way. It's just, if you're not Johnny, you're wasting your time."

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