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Johnny Carson facts

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In 1974, Johnny Carson requested that NBC stop airing Tonight Show reruns on the weekend as he wanted to save those reruns for the extra vacation days he was planning to take. NBC wanted to fill those slots, so they hired Lorne Michaels to develop a show. That show became SNL.

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The game Twister was nearly killed in its crib when the Sears catalog rejected it for being too sexy. But just as the makers were about to give up, the game was saved by Johnny Carson, who played Twister with blonde bombshell Eva Gabor on The Tonight Show, and sales soared into the millions.

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  1. Johnny Carson, on the Tonight Show, had an ongoing gag involving the effort to find the line that's least likely to ever be uttered. He settled finally on, "This is the banjo player's Porsche."

  2. Johnny Carson Craved Time Alone So Much His $80 Million Home Had Only 1 Bedroom.

  3. Johnny Carson declared that Chevy Chase 'couldn't ad-lib a fart after a baked-bean dinner' after being told that Chase could replace him as host of the Tonight Show

  4. In 1962, Johnny Carson found out his wife had a secret apartment. He broke into the place with a gun and found football player Frank Gifford's framed photos. Getting sad, he drank all night and joked "That guy plays three positions on the field. I could never get Joanne to go for more than two."

  5. On Johnny Carson's final show, Comedy Central went dark, leaving a video gone-fishing sign saying the people are out "watching Johnny Carson's last show and so should you."

  6. Despite his on-camera demeanor, Johnny Carson was extremely shy off-camera. He was known for avoiding most large parties, and was referred to as "the most private public man who ever lived".

  7. Johnny Carson once joked on The Tonight Show about a nonexistent toilet paper shortage which led to eventual panic buying leaving store shelves empty causing a real shortage that lasted weeks

  8. Joan Rivers, a regular guest host, was banned from The Tonight Show after a falling out with Johnny Carson after Rivers accepted a hosting gig on FOX. In 2014 Fallon invited her back to "Tonight", 49 years to the day after her first appearance. She died 6 months later.

  9. Kevin Spacey, as a young actor, used his skill at impressions to pretend to be Johnny Carson's son to get free theater tickets and enter nightclubs.

  10. Johnny Carson’s first three wives were named, in order, Joan, Joanne, and Joanna. Bob Newhart kidded that he had married three similarly named women to avoid "having to change the monogram on the towels."

johnny carson facts
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In 1973, Johnny Carson made a joke during his opening monologue of The Tonight Show about an upcoming toilet paper shortage. Although meant to be a joke, the announcement caused a nation-wide panic that created an actual toilet paper shortage.

In 1981 actor Jimmy Stewart read a poem about his deceased pet golden retriever on 'The Tonight Show' that made Johnny Carson tear up - source

Ellen Degeneres got on Johnny Carson with her "Call to God" bit where she phones God to ask him the purpose of fleas. At the time Ellen was grieving the sudden death of her girlfriend and living in an apartment infested with fleas. - source

In 1981 Jimmy Stewart went on 'The Tonight Show' and read a poem about his golden retriever that was so moving, it made Johnny Carson cry

Comedian Johnny Carson was an avid tennis player. When he sold his house in Malibu to tennis starJohn McEnroe, the escrow terms required McEnroe to give Johnny six tennis lessons. - source

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A man wrote Johnny Carson 800 times in hopes he would be allowed to appear on the show to yell "Here's Johnny"...He got his wish

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Ed McMahon (Johnny Carson's sidekick) was a carrier certified Marine F4U Corsair instructor pilot during WWII and an artillery spotter during the Korean War. He flew a total of 85 combat missions. After the war, he stayed with the Marines as a reserve officer, retiring in 1966 as a colonel.

In 1963 Woody Allen appeared on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and hosted 17 episodes over the next 9 years.

Johnny Carson of the Tonight show accidentally started the Great Toilet Paper Scare of 1973

Saturday Night Live got its start in 1975 when NBC was cornered into developing late night comedy alternatives, following concerns that Johnny Carson might defect to another network. The first SNL host was George Carlin.

After Johnny Carson died, David Letterman did a whole monologue of jokes that Carson secretly wrote and sent him.

When did johnny carson die?

Johnny Carson went 10-0 in amateur boxing while in the Navy, minored in Physics and was an amateur astronomer.

Betty White appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson several times as well as on The Carol Burnett Show multiple times.

Haley interviewed many intriguing and controversial Americans for Playboy, including: Johnny Carson, Muhammad Ali, and the leader of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell.

In 1973 Johnny Carson joked about there being a toilet paper shortage on The Tonight Show. People did not realize it was a joke and panic-bought as much toilet paper as they could, which actually caused a toilet paper shortage.

After his retirement, Johnny Carson secretly sent monologue jokes to Dave Letterman. He kept it quiet so as to not publicly be taking sides in the Leno/Letterman conflict regarding who was taking over The Tonight Show.

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Johnny Carson went to a party in Malibu and bought the house. When he lived there it only had one bedroom so no one could stay, it was now on the market for $81million.

Actor Jimmy Stewart was also a poet. During an appearance on The Tonight Show, he read his poem "Beau", which he wrote about his dog. By the end of the poem, Johnny Carson had started crying.

In 1973 Johnny Carson jokingly stated on his TV show that Americas supply of toilet paper was running out. In a panic, the population took his joke seriously and bought up all of the available toilet paper, thus creating the previously non existing shortage.

After Johnny Carson retired he occasionally sent David Letterman jokes which he included in his monologues at the beginning of his show.

The first 10 years of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show were wiped clean and lost.

December 17, 1969, with 40 million people watching, Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

When a pianist had to cancel a "Tonight Show" appearance, Johnny Carson picked David Tolley out of the audience to play. He was so good that he was invited back for a paid gig.

The jacket popularised by the first Prime Minister of India was featured in Vogue and became a fashion statement in the West. It was called the 'Nehru jacket', and was popularized by the Beatles and worn by people like Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr.

Johnny Carson's least favorite Tonight Show guest was Bob Hope

The game Twister, which turns 50 this week, was a commercial disappointment for Milton Bradley until Eva Gabor convinced Johnny Carson to play a game with her live in The Tonight Show.

Johnny Carson once joked that America was running out of toilet paper. Americans promptly bought so much toilet paper, it caused a national shortage that lasted three weeks.

When HBO made a film on the fight to replace Johnny Carson on 'The Tonight Show', Jay Leno seriously proposed that George Clooney play him. Many people complained that the actor playing them was "too fat". "It’s amazing how many people wanted Richard Gere to play them," a producer said.

Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage with a joke.

Johnny Carson was lead to believe he ran over Michael Landon's cat at a restaurant parking lot. The second time they dined there Landon had arranged a fake menu for Carson featuring meals with cats.

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