31 Facts About Johnny Carson

1. Johnny Carson had possibly half a dozen movie stars whom he would occasionally interview for all 90 minutes of The Tonight Show.

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2. Johnny Carson joined the US Navy in 1943 and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania, but he never saw combat.

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3. Johnny Carson is survived by his younger brother, Dick, who is an Emmy Award-winning director of, among other things, the competing Merv Griffin Show and Wheel of Fortune.

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4. Johnny Carson was a heavy smoker for decades, and in the early days of his tenure on Tonight, often smoked on-camera.

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5. On March 19, 1999, Johnny Carson suffered a severe heart attack at his home in Malibu, California, and was hospitalized in nearby Santa Monica, where he underwent quadruple-bypass surgery.

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6. In 1982, Johnny Carson was found to be driving his DeLorean while under the influence of alcohol.

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7. Johnny Carson was shown on a 1978 segment of 60 Minutes practicing at home on a drum set given to him by close friend Buddy Rich, who was the jazz musician with the most appearances on The Tonight Show.

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8. Johnny Carson was the first person to contact Sagan's wife Ann Druyan with condolences when the scientist died in 1996.

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9. Johnny Carson donated to the Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center in honor of his favorite teacher, Miss Faye Gordon.

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10. Johnny Carson had three sons with his first wife, Christopher, Cory, and Richard.

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11. Johnny Carson reportedly joked, "My giving advice on marriage is like the captain of the Titanic giving lessons on navigation.

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12. On that cue, the real Johnny Carson emerged from behind the curtain, an appearance that prompted a standing ovation from the audience.

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13. Johnny Carson retired from show business on May 22, 1992, at age 66, when he stepped down as host of The Tonight Show.

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14. Johnny Carson was a major investor in the failed DeLorean Motor Company.

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15. Johnny Carson successfully sued a manufacturer of portable toilets that wanted to call its product "Here's Johnny".

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16. Johnny Carson apologized in January 1974 for the incident, which became what The New York Times called a "classic study" of how rumors spread.

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17. In December 1973, Johnny Carson joked on Tonight about an alleged shortage of toilet paper.

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18. Johnny Carson reportedly loathed what he perceived as disloyalty, and he was furious when former Tonight Show guest hosts John Davidson and Joan Rivers began hosting their own talk shows.

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19. On July 2, 1969, Johnny Carson launched an on-the-air attack on The New York Times after his nightly monologue, assailing the newspaper for an article saying that he was the highest-paid performer on television, earning $75,000 a week.

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20. Johnny Carson often made jokes at the expense of other celebrities.

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21. Johnny Carson was successor to The Ed Sullivan Show as a showcase for all kinds of talent, as well as continuing a vaudeville-style variety show.

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22. Johnny Carson played several continuing characters on sketches during the show, including.

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23. Johnny Carson had a talent for quick quips to deal with problems.

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24. Johnny Carson can be seen discussing his upcoming job for the first time on the February 11, 1962, episode of What's My Line?.

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25. Johnny Carson imitated Benny and claimed that Benny had copied his gestures.

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26. Johnny Carson began his broadcasting career in 1950 at WOW radio and television in Omaha.

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27. Johnny Carson made the discovery that he could entertain and amuse someone as cranky and sophisticated as Forrestal.

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28. In response, Johnny Carson said no and told him he wanted to be a magician.

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29. Johnny Carson served as a communications officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages.

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30. At the age of 12, Johnny Carson found a book on magic at a friend's house and immediately purchased a mail-order magician's kit.

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31. Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993.

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