City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Stefan Kanfer
Carson Remembered and Rued « Back to Story

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The line "I started out in a gaseous state, and then I cooled," was Carson's response to the question "What made you a star?"
Howard W. down there asks "Johnny who?"

You will never know what (who) you missed, my friend.... never.

That final line about taking the Empire State building for granted is a gem. I wonder how many thought as I did --

How about taking the awesome profiles of the World Trade Center for granted.... something you appreciate greatly until you see it every day (or late night). And then one day, it is gone forever. And no matter what new hep-cat building comes along to replace it, you somehow never forget when you look, that you are really looking at what will always be a hole in the sky.
Like my mother, who watched Jack Parr and then Johnny, I became a late-night JC watcher. He was absolutely the best. The great majority of us only knew him from the stage--but also believed that we knew him off stage. I was saddened to hear of his passing in 2005. This book helps revive all the things I loved (and miss) about his stage performances.
"Johnny, we hardly knew ye" Great review, Mr.Kanfer. Like Leigh in the comments below, we remember the laughs and the fun he brought into our young lives. Not quite up there with Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Dick van Dyke, and Bob Newhart, he was part of family life in America in those days. May God be merciful to you, Johnny...eternal rest...
If Johnny Carson (like too many artists) had lived a happy, fulfilling life, he probably would not have enriched the lives of the rest of us. Such is the truly odd nature of artists.

Johnny unwillingly "took one for the team." Perhaps we should thank his many ex-wives for their contributions to our lives!
great man, remember passing by on southern california road ,he looked happy in his yellow mercedes...
Johnny and his imitators can aptly be described as "Snow White and the seven dwarfs..

He was sui generis.. and like Pagliacci and all other clowns.. he was interminably miserable.

but he brought GREAT joy to many lives.
Howard - Probably Johnny Knoxville for you.
Wow! Great review, I was gripped to the end.
What do you know?
"Bombastic Bushkin" is real person.
Johnny who?
He afforded our family much enjoyment and many great laughs during his tenure. Didn't know much about him other than he had a number of name-alike wives, but as a TV viewer then, "Hereerre's Johnny" was the intro we loved to hear. He was the best.

Thanks very much for the review, Mr. Kanfer.
I remember Carson and his antics (on-the-tube and off. This book may actually have something say and I thank the reviewer for so clearly and gracefully spotlighting the book.