Johnny Carson is easily the most recognizable name in late night television. One of the wittiest men who ever lived, Carson’s mannerisms lent themselves to laughter, with or without monologue or dialogue.
He handled guests with aplomb and was watched by millions from October, 1962, until May, 1992.
Carson’s effect on pop culture was tremendous. He gave visibility to people like David Letterman, Rodney Dangerfield, Jerry Seinfeld, and many others.
Experts believe there are ten reasons (at least) Carson was the most successful talk show host of all time.
Those reasons are:
1. He was good at everything.
Interviewer, actor, comedian, you name it.
2. He knew how to talk to celebrities.
Celebrities opened up to his sense of humor, including his own personal foibles.
3. You didn’t have to be famous to sit on his couch.
Johnny could have a hog caller on his show and treat him with total respect for his talent. And he
4. He gave many beloved comedians their starts.
Jerry Seinfeld and Roseanne Barr. Just two of many.
5. His show was packed with memorable moments.
Michael Landon just before his death, Tiny Tim, and so many others.
6. He loved magic.
Carson began entertaining as a magician.
7. He was also a mystic from the East
Who could forget Carnac the Magnificent?
8. He had a way with animals.
Sometimes they had their way with him.
9. He was full of unexpected one-liners.
His wit assured audiences that the show would never drag.
10. He left audiences wanting more.
No one wanted him to leave when he did. He was “on top.”