I sit here, dumbfounded. I learned earlier that Johnny Carson has passed on. My life is now just a touch duller, the colors a bit more dreary.
He was the epitome of class. You could list the number of curse words in his repitoire over the last 50 years on the fingers of your hands. His jokes weren't always funny, but they were never crass.
Rolling down memory lane, I think back to when I was 3 and 4 years old. (I know, a bloody long time ago, but believe it or not, it's one of my earliest memories.) I would never go to sleep. I have been a nightowl all of my life. Our dining room was directly next to the den where the tv was. I used to sneak out of my bedroom and sit underneath the dining room table, and wrapped there with my arms and legs about the big leg of the table, I would be regailed by Johnny Carson doing the tonight show.
It didn't happen every night, but often. Then, as I grew older and joined the service, after work I'd go back to the barracks, (I worked swings), and turn on Johnny to keep me company until Mid-rats would open and I could get some dinner.
Then he retired.... and to be honest, late night tv has held nothing for me since.
I will miss the times with Joan Embry and the menagerie that would do anything from poop on the floor to climb on top of his head - and never once did he complain... not really. I will miss Karnak the Magician, and the envelopes to the head. I will miss his Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan impressions. I will miss the banter between he and Ed and Doc Severinson.
It is the end of an era. One that, frankly, brings tears to my eyes. Our children will never know late night tv under the table. The set will be dark, cold, silent. Good bye, and thank you for the laughter of my youth, (which has had one more nail put in its coffin)... thank you for your grace, charm and wit... thank you for being you Johnny.
But there is one more thing of note to be said here.... at least in MY opinion.
I could have sworn that, in the dark cool night up here in Oregon, I heard Ronald Reagan one last time.... he said:
"Hey God!!!!!!! Heeeeeeeeeeeeereeees Johnnnnnnyyyy!"
Welcome Home, Mr. Carson. God Bless.