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Johnny Carson


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Three things got me through high school in the early '70s --- Raspberries, Badfinger and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (I would stay up way too late at night to catch his show, then try to wake up for school in the morning).

Johnny Carson's death ends an era, but he will always be immortalized for me in Eric Carmen's "Last Night" (from the first solo album), a tale that captures another lonely night's end (waiting for the call that never comes, tuning in Carson for some laughs, smoking another cig, dialing an unanswered phone number) while playing some brilliant rock 'n' roll:

"...I waited for the phone to ring

And when it didn't

I turned on the Carson show

I lit another cigarette

And dialed your number

But there was no one at home..."

I also remember in 1977 when Frankie Valli did the Carson show and sang his new single, "I Need You" (which Jim Girard in Hit Parader magazine said was tailor-written for Valli's voice) --- Valli introduced the song saying, "This was written by a contemporary artist named Eric Carmen."

Don smile

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I remember in 1984, I was living in Los Angeles and me and a friend went to a Tonight Show taping. It was my 22nd birthday on that day. We hung out in a couple bars before we went to the taping and needless to say, we were feeling no pain by the time we got in! We had so much fun, we almost got kicked out!!! Johnny was a legend and will be missed! Billy Sullivan

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Don and Billy, What great posts! They really capture the time. I loved Johnny Carson. My favorite was "Karnak." It was the source of some really silly times with my friends, and I still laugh when I think of it...It was just before I got married and it was a sort of looking back (in 1984) on my days of singlehood, going to hear every band I could, and just ahead was this "mature" course of action called marriage, which would end those days forever. Nineteen years later, a look-back still makes me smile. Johnny, we'll miss you.

frown --Darlene

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I only knew his name and I got to know today's newspaper that he had been a host for Tonight Show. That's my favorite TV show in the States. Until when did he on the show? Is Jay Leno after Jonny Carson? I just missed a taping of Tonight Show when I visited Los Angeles last November.

Maybe I might see the photos of Mr.Carson hanging on the wall when I was turing NBC Studios.

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Carson was indeed a legendary performer. Watched him for years and years especially during our college years in the late 70s. Interestingly, he

described himself as a "loner" and not comfortable around people. You wouldn't know it from his show; I guess he was also a great actor.

He has been, for 12 years, and will forever be missed. Marc

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Interesting thing about the reference to Carson in "Last Night".....and, if I recall correctly, Eric actually was over a year AHEAD of Brian Wilson's "Johnny Carson" song.("Last Night", incidentally, is also the better of the two songs).

The day United Express added service from Denver to Norfolk, Nebraska(Johnny's Home town)also happened to be the day that Carson retired.


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