Monday, January 24, 2005

A Great Loss

The other day we learned that Johnny Carson, former host of The Tonight Show, passed away from emphysema...even though he has been absent from the public eye for roughly 13 years, this is a great loss from the world of entertainment...he did more than probably anyone else for kick-starting the careers of great comedians from Jerry Seinfeld to Jay Leno to Drew Carey to David Letterman...stories say that he has been sending jokes to Letterman for him to use on the Late Show with David Letterman, so while he has been out of the public eye, he has still been contributing to the laughter of America...I remember fondly a bit that he tried in his later years...he began by mentioning the classic philosophical question, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?"...he then proceeded to tell the audience that he had an audio recording that was made when a logger left a tape machine running in the woods, and when he returned to it, a tree had now he, Johnny, had conclusive evidence to answer that age-old question...he pressed play on the tape recording and listened intently as the (blank) tape played...he listened for quite a while, maybe a minute, just waiting to hear something, while the audience nervously chuckled...then someone in the audience shouted out, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" to quote the old lady in the old First Alert commercials...I thought Johnny was going to bust a gut he laughed so he laughed, he looked up at the man in the audience and said, "Thank you! I didn't have an end to that bit."...classic Johnny, setting someone else up to get the laugh...I think I need to go out and rent one of his DVD collections...

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