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Talent Alone nor Right Place brings Success


Are You Ready??

“Talent Alone Won’t Make You Success. Neither Will Being In the Right Place at the Right Time, Unless You Are Ready. The Most Important Question Is: “Are You Ready?”” – Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson the America’s Therapist

Johnny Carson made people think he made people laugh. The Late Night Show Host was the finest in his generation. He was known as America’s Therapist. His ability to entertain the people was compared to none. He offered his talents and his services to make the public laugh and think for three consecutive decades. He reigned from 1962 to 1992.

Johnny Carson the King or the Prince?

The media called him “the King of Night Time Television.

Johnny Carson replied: “King; No… Prince; Yes!”

Apparently he likes to call himself the prince.

How Johnny Carson Became The Late Night Host?

Johnny Carson was born on October 23rd, 1925 in Corning, Iowa. He was raised in Nebraska. He started his entertainment career at the age of 14 as a Magician to a local Rotary club. He made $3. Carson was working as an Usher at a local theatre, the time the World War II broke in. He was enlisted to the US Navy on June 8, 1943. His hope was to become a pilot but the Navy and his faith said otherwise. He was sent to Columbia University for Midshipman training. He performed magic tricks for his class mates on the side. Aboard the USSS Pennsylvania in the Pacific, Carson served as a Communications Officer in charge of decoding encrypted messages.

With many careers behind him, Johnny Carson came to California in 1961 looking for work. As Carson took over been Host to the Late Night Show in 1962, it represented many years of programming experiments, trials, and test runs using different people. TV was new exciting and experimental at that time.

Late Night Show “Pioneer” status goes to Steve Allen (1954 – 1957) who was a brilliant writer, musician, and comedian. The shows early comedy, variety-show like format, style, and approach came with Allen.

Jack Parr (1957 – 1962) brought yet a different style to the late night show. Today his style of Monologue, Sketches, and Interviews with Guest Celebrities follow.

Who would have thought a Late Night Show will be a popular show which actually people would watch? It turns out with right material and right people the viewer’s enjoy the show.  

Johnny became the host in 1962. The show started on October 1st 1962. Johnny’s Co-host ask him “What do you see as my role?” Johnny said to him “I am not sure what my role is too. But let’s go out there and just entertain the hell out of them.” Well! They entertain America for three decades alright.

Not known to many Johnny’s Co-Host Ed McMahon flew 30 combat mission as a pilot for the Marines during the Korean War.

“Heeeeere Comes Johnny” - TV History Mantra

Late Night Show Co-Host Ed McMahon was known for the TV History Mantra “Heeeeere Comes Johnny.”

Johnny always felt that his guests needed to be entertained. So the mix was always interesting and at times surprising. At Johnny’s first show as Late Night Host with the said elements he had Tony Bennett debuted his classic song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” The other celebrities included; Joan Crawford, Rudy Valle, the Phoenix Singers, Groucho Marx, and Mel Brooks.

Since then Johnny hosted 22,000 guests in his 30 years. He entertained a very impressive guest list including Carry Grant, Nancy Regan, …  He impersonated Carl Seeger, Ronald Regan… Although only one cup was visible at the show usually he had one mug for himself and the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th cups for his visitors. If the jokes going sour he had a rubber chicken and two plastic arrows as his last resort to pull out and make people laugh.

He did a “Tea Time Movie Gag” to take on fake advertising for outlandish products. “Carnac the Magnificent” was a successful character by Johnny Carson with a Turban and delivered the funniest jokes of the Television history.

Johnny always took time to give advice.

Con’an O’ Brian admitted to stealing from the greatest Johnny Carson. Con’an describe Carson as; “such an icon and the complete package.”

Johnny Carson entertained his audiences with sharp wit and magnificent sense of surprise. Talking about surprises, Tiny Tim actually got married on Johnny Carson’s show. The music at the Late Night Show played a very big role of the success of the show.

Doc Severinsen long time band leader and trumpet virtuoso was well known for his fashion sense. The Tonight Show NBC Orchestra became the most visible big band in America.

Please enjoy the music from CSUF Orchestra performing the Orchestra with player who played at the “Tonight Show Band” and performed for Carson show.

Here’s few words from Johnny Carson’s nephew Jeff Sotzing.

Although Johnny Carson’s stardom lasted only 30 years his legendary name will be remembered forever. In his Final Farewell show he said: “I am one of the Lucky people in the world. I found something I always wanted to do and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.”


P.S. Our thanks to the efficient Fullerton Museum Staff who put this together with the Johnny Carson Foundation. And the City of Fullerton Recreation Department, Board of Fullerton Museum, participants and everyone who helped to bring this great show to City of Fullerton. Thank You All!! We enjoyed the show. 


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