Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Dave remembers Johnny

This excerpt comes from the Indy Star:
David Letterman paid tribute to Johnny Carson on Monday by telling his jokes. On his first "Late Show" since Carson's death on Jan. 23, Letterman's opening monologue was composed entirely of jokes Carson had quietly sent to him over the past few months from retirement in California.

Letterman didn't tell the audience until after the monologue 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."
These excerpts, not included in the Indy Star article come from the Miami Herald:
"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 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."
According to this Yahoo press release, "The death of late night talk show giant Johnny Carson (#29) has generated more search activity with web users than any other celebrity death over the past several months. Searches for Carson soared more than 830 percent in the first 24 hours following news of his death, and although search activity has dipped slightly, overall searches for Carson during this past week make him one of the most-searched celebrity passings since the death of former President Ronald Regan in June 2004."

Can someone stop the Hoosiers? This editorial thinks Bayh committed political suicide. I tend to think not. This paragraph saddens me:
Bayh’s not resting. From this moment on, everything he does will be viewed with a different lens. A centrist Democrat whose primary political aim is to win re-election from conservative Indiana wouldn’t vote against Rice. Unless he is a candidate for president or vice president, don’t expect to see Bayh’s name on an Indiana ballot again.
I would have voted against Condoleezza Rice because it's the right thing to do. We have a mess in Iraq! When are our troops coming home?!?

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