Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Quarter of a Century Gone

Johnny Carson's last episode of The Tonight Show began 25 years ago, ending a thirty-year run. The show was more of a retrospective; the last show with guests Robin Williams and Bette Midler had aired the evening before. 55 million people tuned in to watch the last show.

It's pretty hard to describe the impact of the show at the time. It was the era of what is now called "appointment television", for you either watched shows as they aired or missed them. In offices around the nation, what was on "Carson" the night before was a standard topic of conversation. Carson loved political humor, and his jokes could enrage a politician like few others.

If you watched the show, you know what you were supposed to do when you reached the Slauson Cutoff.

A joke by Carson about an impending shortage of toilet paper triggered a run on the stuff in December, 1973, stores were rationing the stuff. There had already been shortages of meet earlier that year (not to mention the gasoline shortage that was going on at the time).

Jay Leno and David Letterman fought hard to replace Carson. Leno won, but there was considerable bad feeling between the two. CBS created The Late Show for Letterman to compete with The Tonight Show.

Both Letterman and Leno have also retired.

Johnny Carson kept a pretty low profile in retirement. He died of smoking-related emphysema in 2005

5 comments:

D. said...

The few times I attempted to sit up to watch Carson, I was usually asleep before the middle of the monologue.

What can I say?

Leo Knight said...

Back in the early 70s, I visited my relatives in Santa Ana. I got all excited when we drove through the Slauson Avenue highway ramp, and my uncle said, "This is the famous Slauson Cutoff!"

deadstick said...

"his jokes could enrage a politician "

Back then I was working a 24/7 console at a Gubmint operation where there was a lot of deadtime, and we had a CCTV setup to help us stay awake. The maintenance guys selected the channel pretty much at whim, but any time the Carson show was announced, there was a call from the straw boss that got it switched instantly.

Today it's locked on Fox News.

Thomas Ten Bears said...

Jeeez, did you have to remind me? With the deaths of iconic musicians of my generation last year I posted a number of tributes under "the soundtracks of my life." So too Johnny Carson, The Tonite Show.

JayNola said...

I didn't watch Johnny much when it was on. Too young. What amused me though is that I can watch a syndicated rerun and it's funnier than the other guys on TV right now.