Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Johnny Carson - Mr. Cool

Ed Ames was supposedly an expert with the tomahawk, thanks to his role as Mingo on the "Daniel Boone" show. As if throwing sharp objects in an audience-filled studio wasn't dangerous enough, Ames attempted the stunt with a hatchet instead. Aiming for a chalk cowboy outline, Ames threw, hitting the dummy directly between the legs, with Carson quipping, "I didn't even know you were Jewish."
It's another of the "50 Years Ago" stories like Target and Wal-Mart.  Johnny Carson took over the late night desk in 1962 and hung with it for 30 years.  Perhaps most of us started watching it in black and white until a color television was affordable, but no matter, the shows were all great.

He was unflappable.  His deadpan look, sense of timing, unabashed laughter, and ability to turn a poorly-received joke into a crowd-pleaser have been unparalleled during or since.

Favorite moments include his session with Dolly Parton ("I'd give a year's salary for a peek under there!"), or Ed Ames, Mingo from the Daniel Boone Show who expertly threw a hatchet directly into the crotch of a shadow.  Read the whole story here . . .

Name your own favorite moment, because there were many.

He had a few losers, but not many, and seemed to be a pivot point for success - or failure - of a new guest.  His own team may have had their own mixed emotions, as Doc Severinsen once pointed out, that Johnny could be "intimidating."  Yet where would Ed McMahon be without him?  This testimonial from Severinsen says it all.

Watch Doc Severinsen on Johnny Carson on PBS. See more from pbs.

Here is the PBS synopsis on Carson - click here.

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