John William "Johnny" Carson, 1925 - 2005

portrait of Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson signature

Born: 23 October 1925, Corning, Iowa
Died: 23 January 2005, Los Angeles, California

Carson grew up at Norfolk, Nebraska, served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, worked in radio, was a writer for Red Skelton, and hosted various television game shows. In 1962 he was picked to take over the Tonight Show from Jack Paar and hosted it until retiring thirty years and some 5,000 entertaining hours later. His first guest was Groucho Marx, his last was Bette Middler. He considered David Letterman his "rightful successor", but NBC gave the job to Jay Leno. During retirement, Carson has kept up with the news, sailed, made the occasional cameo appearance, and wrote the occasional joke which he sent to Letterman to use in his opening monologue. He made millions happy by knowing how to get others to talk. I have to end this with a quote from Ed McMahon, "Heeeere's Johnny!"

Biography from Wikipedia and Museum of Broadcast Communications

Johnny Carson quotes:

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