They simply do not make late night hosts like Johnny Carson anymore. There will never be another one like him. He was someone that in the context of a talk show host personified class.
Sure, he poked at politicians just like any other comedian or late night host but there was a sense of class that he brought to the game. He poked fun at people while still allowing them to maintain their dignity.
Heck, sometimes he would have people on just to talk to them. He didn’t always have people on just because they were promoting a movie.
Legendary late night talk show host Johnny Carson gave one of his guests quite a startle in the 1980s when she thought he had eaten one of her prized potato chips.
TV Guide labeled it one of the funniest moments on television.
Myrtle Young was as a guest on Carson’s program, NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” in 1987 to display several of the uniquely shaped potato chips that made up her collection.
Part way through the interview, Carson’s sidekick Ed McMahon distracted Young, while his boss grabbed a chip from behind his desk and ate it with a loud crunch.
Young immediately shot her head back toward Carson with her mouth wide open in shock.
Carson hosted “The Tonight Show” for 30 years from 1962 to 1992.
According to IMDB, the native Nebraskan won the ratings battle for his time slot every year he was on the air, for which he was rewarded handsomely financially.
Carson was the highest paid person on television earning a reported $5 million per year by the 1980s, which would be more than twice as much in today’s dollars.