LEGENDARY JOHNNY CARSON Teaches Modern Day Talk Hosts A Valuable Lesson About Getting Political! (VIDEO)
Johnny Carson had already been on television for decades by the time I was old enough to remember watching him.
Thankfully through people saving footage of the shows and putting them online I have probably seen more old episodes of the Tonight Show in five years than I had my entire childhood before he retired.
One thing that I have noticed is that he went after everyone. There wasn’t a topic that he would not discuss or make a joke about. That was his job.
However, one of the secrets to his longevity and his ability to keep even people he made fun of in good standing was that he was always laughing with them and not at them.
Sure, he would go after certain political figures but it was the way that he did it where he would say something that everyone knew was true like Reagan being in a movie with a monkey before he became President.
Whenever Carson said something about a public figure, he did it with a level of dignity and respect that most of the late night hosts these days could never possess.
Via Western Journal: “Along with virtually every other American, I never knew Johnny Carson’s politics,” Dennis Prager wrote in a 2017 column. “I would not have been surprised if he was a liberal or a conservative, a Democrat or a Republican. In his 30 years as host of ‘The Tonight Show’ on NBC, he never so much as hinted as to how he identified politically. He poked fun at whoever was in power.”
Even back in the day, Serious People™ didn’t like this. CBS’ Mike Wallace took Carson to task over it when “60 Minutes” did a profile on Carson back in the 1970s.
“Do you get sensitive about the fact that people say, ‘He’ll never take a serious controversy?’” Wallace asked.
“Well, I have an answer to that,” Carson said. “Now, tell me the last time that Jack Benny, Red Skelton, any comedian used his show to do serious issues.
“That’s not what I’m there for,” he continued, slightly piqued. “You see that?”
“But you’re not–” Wallace said.
“Why do they think since you have a ‘Tonight Show,’ you will deal with serious issues? That’s a danger. That’s a real danger. Once you start that, you start to get that self important feeling, that what you say has great import. And you know, strangely enough, you could use that show as a forum, you could sway people. And I don’t think you should as an entertainer.”