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Old 02-18-2014, 08:00 AM   #21
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I remember watching Jack Paar and Steve Allen with my GPa as a little kid. I liked Letterman when he was first starting when he did a lot of goofy stuff outside. Also like Fernwood Tonight. But Carson was number one. With his regulars Buddy Hackett, Don Rickles, and Jonathon Winters.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:19 AM   #22
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I liked Carson the best. Letterman was good when I was in my twenties but I find him to be an angry old man now. Leno was much more entertaining, IMO.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:38 AM   #23
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Carson was the best IMO, skewering everyone equally . Leno has great delivery, one of the best. Letterman and Kimmel are too one way political for my taste. Fallon is funny but his interviewing skills need improvement for prime time.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:43 AM   #24
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I liked Carson the best. Letterman was good when I was in my twenties but I find him to be an angry old man now. Leno was much more entertaining, IMO.
+1. It took me time to warm to Leno, as I did not start watching him regularly until about 10 years ago.

I attended a bunch of Letterman tapings at 30 Rock from 1982-1984 when he was with NBC. It was fascinating to see everything going on during the commercial breaks. I did spot myself on TV for a second or two during one March, 1982 episode which included guest Robert Klein appearing in a bathrobe.

Does anyone remember a short-lived TV series titled, "Carson Comedy Classics" from the mid-1980s? It was basically a 30-minute clips show which most of the time had a Carnac bit, my favorite Carson skit.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #25
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I always liked Carson when I was a girl, but I really like the quick wit of both Conan and Stephen Colbert.

I think Jimmy will do well. He has that gracious quality that I like too.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:08 AM   #26
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+1. It took me time to warm to Leno, as I did not start watching him regularly until about 10 years ago.

I attended a bunch of Letterman tapings at 30 Rock from 1982-1984 when he was with NBC. It was fascinating to see everything going on during the commercial breaks. I did spot myself on TV for a second or two during one March, 1982 episode which included guest Robert Klein appearing in a bathrobe.

Does anyone remember a short-lived TV series titled, "Carson Comedy Classics" from the mid-1980s? It was basically a 30-minute clips show which most of the time had a Carnac bit, my favorite Carson skit.


I don't remember the series but I do remember the character "Carnac the Magnificant". Below is a link to the top ten Carson moments as rated by Laugh Spin, one of which is Carnac.

http://www.laughspin.com/2012/10/02/...oments-videos/
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:35 AM   #27
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I don't remember the series but I do remember the character "Carnac the Magnificant". Below is a link to the top ten Carson moments as rated by Laugh Spin, one of which is Carnac.

The 10 best Johnny Carson moments (Videos)
Oh yes, I remember that one. It aired around 1980 IIRC. I happened to tape it (audio only) on a cassette player at the time and timed how long it took for Carson to get the next "answer" out. It was about 52 seconds after a few false starts, a very long time. My funniest Carnac moment, for sure.

Here is a youtube link to the segment starting with sis boom bah.

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Old 02-18-2014, 12:01 PM   #28
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Another vote for Ferguson. Way under appreciated in my opinion. His Connery/Caine schtick and puppet dance numbers are some of the funniest I've ever seen plus he is a great interviewer.

Carson is still the best though.

And of the rest, I like Letterman best. Went to a taping of his show a few years ago though and he is definitely half-as*ing it these days.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #29
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The excellent PBS American Masters documentary "Johnny Carson King of late night" is on Netflix. A very complex fellow who had a mother who never thought he was good enough, no matter how famous he became.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:18 PM   #30
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I watch Conan if I'm up that late. I liked Leno. I just can't get psyched for Fallon. Never liked him on SNL. Wish Leno had stayed on. And don't forget that Seth Myers is taking over one of the late night spots. I'd check out his show if I were up that late. Won't stay up for any of these guys if I'm too tired, though.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:08 PM   #31
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I watch Conan if I'm up that late. I liked Leno. I just can't get psyched for Fallon. Never liked him on SNL. Wish Leno had stayed on. And don't forget that Seth Myers is taking over one of the late night spots. I'd check out his show if I were up that late. Won't stay up for any of these guys if I'm too tired, though.
Please remember that if Leno did not leave, Fallon would have stayed put with his Late Show and Meyers would not have taken over for Fallon.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:45 PM   #32
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Please remember that if Leno did not leave, Fallon would have stayed put with his Late Show and Meyers would not have taken over for Fallon.
Yeah, silver lining. I think Seth has the potential to lead interesting interview conversations.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:12 PM   #33
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I wanted to chime in. A few years ago, I was fortunate to be in the audience at a Letterman Show. He had a tremendous connection with the audience and a "presence" that doesn't show up on TV. He interacts with the audience during commercial breaks, and I just thought he was much funnier in person.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:51 PM   #34
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I watch Conan if I'm up that late. I liked Leno. I just can't get psyched for Fallon. Never liked him on SNL. Wish Leno had stayed on. And don't forget that Seth Myers is taking over one of the late night spots. I'd check out his show if I were up that late. Won't stay up for any of these guys if I'm too tired, though.

From what I have seen in his interviews, he does also....
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:34 AM   #35
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I think I liked Johnny Carson and Jay Leno equally. Perhaps a slight nod of Johnny over Leno.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:23 AM   #36
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I would vote Carson as well, but I think what made his show so special was in part the caliber of entertainers back then that could come on his show. There are no current equivalents of Dean Martin, Tim Conway, Bob Newhart, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Jonathan Winters...etc. The current age of true entertainers pales in comparison IMHO.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:47 AM   #37
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I would vote Carson as well, but I think what made his show so special was in part the caliber of entertainers back then that could come on his show. There are no current equivalents of Dean Martin, Tim Conway, Bob Newhart, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Jonathan Winters...etc. The current age of true entertainers pales in comparison IMHO.

I like this quote.... and would add to it that the current entertainers are not as interesting outside of their craft... IOW, they might be a great actress or actor, but very boring in an interview... They are there to plug their movie and that is about it...
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:24 AM   #38
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I grew up listening to (CBS Radio)as far back as 1940, and much later watching... Arthur Godfrey.
A man for his time.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:52 AM   #39
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All of them have their strengths. Johnny definitely set the gold standard.

I watched the first couple shows with Jimmy Fallon. I miss the longer monologue of Leno. The monologue isn't Jimmy's strength (as with Leno, I think). But Jimmy's strength is in the skits and he's not shy about singing.

I'm sure about a month from now, it'll be interesting to see where Jimmy's ratings are in comparison to Leno and the other talk shows and too see if NBC is sweating or not
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:48 AM   #40
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Steve Allen! No contest. A renaissance man if there ever was one.
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