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  Tonight Show host Johnny Carson (1925-2005)

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Author Topic:   Tonight Show host Johnny Carson (1925-2005)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2005 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson died today at age 79.

According to "The Kennedy Space Center Story", Carson, and his co-host Ed McMahon were present in the stands for the launch of Apollo 11.

Any other memories of Carson interacting with NASA or the space program?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28864
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2005 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following joke is attributed to Carson from his July 22, 1969, broadcast of the "Tonight Show" (via Snopes):
About 1966 or so, a NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon mission took the astronauts near Tuba City where the terrain of the Navajo Reservation looks very much like the Lunar surface. With all the trucks and large vehicles there were two large figures that were dressed in full Lunar spacesuits.

Near by a Navajo sheep herder and his son where watching the strange creatures walk about, occasionally being tended by personnel. The two Navajo people were noticed and approached by the NASA personnel. Since the man did not know English, his son asked for him what the strange creatures were and the NASA people told them that they are just men that are getting ready to go to the moon. The man became very excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.

The NASA personnel thought this was a great idea so they rustled up a tape recorder. After the man gave them his message they asked his son to translate. His son would not.

Later, they tried a few more people on the reservation to translate, and every person they asked would chuckle and then refuse to translate. Finally, with cash in hand someone translated the message: "Watch out for these guys, they come to take your land."

DC Giants
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Posts: 134
From: Kansas City, MO USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 01-23-2005 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DC Giants   Click Here to Email DC Giants     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is very sad - Johnny Carson will be missed greatly. I remember reading that he had a strong interest in Astronomy and may have made a hobby out of it. Can anyone confirm this?

Leon Ford
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Posts: 309
From: Shreveport, LA, United States
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2005 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Being born in 1961, I grew up with the Tonight Show and Johnny Carson on TV. I remember seeing most of the astronaut crews on the Tonight Show after their flights. I was looking through Cernan's book not long ago and he mentions that Mr. Carson was also at the launch of Apollo 17. I have seen in other books where he was at the launch of Apollo 11 also.

Ed McMahon was on Larry King tonight and talked about how big an astronomy buff Mr. Carson was. He said there were telescopes all over his home.

He may not have been a space buff like the rest of us here on CollectSpace, but he certainly seemed to have an appreciation for the space exploration field. I feel as though I have lost a member of my family with Mr. Carson's death.

dss65
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Posts: 852
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 01-24-2005 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think he was the very definition of "cool." There will never be another Johnny Carson.

Paul
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Posts: 201
From: Duluth,Ga.
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-24-2005 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul   Click Here to Email Paul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Goodbye, Johnny, and thanks for all those great years of real entertainment that you brought into our homes! Godspeed...

Glint
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Posts: 793
From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-24-2005 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DC Giants:
I remember reading that he had a strong interest in Astronomy and may have made a hobby out of it. Can anyone confirm this?
I have an old scrapbook from when I was a boy somewhere in the basement. In it is a cover photograph from a 1960's TV guide of Johnny Carson with his Unitron refractor. If I can find it I'll make a scan and post it.

Although I never met Johnny Carson I remember his father who, prior to his retirement, had worked with my Dad.

Rob Joyner
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Posts: 1302
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 01-25-2005 02:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sad news indeed. I was born Oct. 10, 1961. Carson became host of The Tonight Show, then in NYC, on Oct. 1, 1962, following Jack Paar and Steve Allen. Like many of you reading, I have always known of Johnny Carson. Just like Santa Claus and the Beatles, he was always there. If you're old enough and watched Carson then you know you are blessed with some great memories. Remember when the show was 90 minutes long?!

Only five months shy of hosting The Tonight Show for 30 years, Carson passed the show on to Jay Leno. His last official guests were Bette Midler and Robin Williams on his next to last show; the night before, if memory serves, Bob Hope and Clint Eastwood. But the very last people to sit there on stage with Johnny on the last show, May 22, 1992, were musical director Doc Severinson and, seated next to Johnny, co-host Ed McMahon. The show was filled with a lot of clips from past shows and at the end Johnny was very humble and sincere,

"I bid you a very heart-felt goodnight."

Tonight, I wish him the same.

Cliff Lentz
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Posts: 649
From: Philadelphia, PA USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-25-2005 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Carson, pretty much introduced America to Carl Sagan and kept him as a regular guest year after year. He started his now famous "Billions and Billions..." comment there which Sagan imitators quickly picked up. I remember Sagan going into great detail about the first Mars landing in 1976. On one of my NASA's Apollo 11 tapes there is a shot of Carson at the VIP viewing area. I always felt that he was a great fan of the program, but I think he always tried to be non-political in such matters. I watched his last show in Washington DC at the National Space Society convention in 1991 so I'll always tie him to that event.

mikepf
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Posts: 367
From: San Jose, California, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-25-2005 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those you that can still manage to keep their eyes open that late, do any of the more recent late night shows regularly feature current astronauts as guests, especially before or soon after they fly a mission? I think it would be a great way to keep America aware that these heroes exist, and give manned space exploration a human face. I don't know how the current astronauts feel about spending time in the barrel, but I think they are the best and most underused inspirational resource NASA has.

collshubby
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Posts: 591
From: Madisonville, Louisiana
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-25-2005 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for collshubby   Click Here to Email collshubby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was born in 1979, so as a young boy my dad always watched "Carson" and the opening theme song meant it was time for me to go to bed. Sometimes on Fridays I was able to stay up and watch a little of the show, although as a young kid I didn't get many of the jokes. For some reason the New Years Eve shows stick out in my mind. Anyway, I always enjoyed watching "The Best of Carson" after he retired and it goes to show you can entertain without having to be vile or vulgar.

Hawkman
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Posts: 400
From: Union, New Jersey
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01-26-2005 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkman   Click Here to Email Hawkman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember that I got to stay up late and watch the Tonight Show when the crew of Apollo 10 was on in 1969.

An era has passed that will never be repeated, I fear.

Novaspace
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Posts: 434
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 01-26-2005 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We had two tapes given to Cernan of the Apollo 10 crew appearance on the Tonight Show. Sold them both in the Cernan Garage sale last year. Pretty funny.

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