Johnny Carson

13 Stories

Tonight Show Fave, Comedian David Brenner Dies at 78

Standup pioneered observational comedy of Seinfeld

(Newser) - Other veteran comics could head straight to The Tonight Show couch to banter with Johnny Carson, but David Brenner had to do a stand-up routine when he was a guest. Finally, Carson told a puzzled Brenner why. "I like to sit back, smoke a cigarette and laugh for six... More »

Tell-All Reveals Crazy Johnny Carson Story

It involves a gun, an alleged affair, and Frank Gifford

(Newser) - A new tell-all from Johnny Carson's former lawyer includes a pretty nuts story about the iconic late night host. According to Henry Bushkin's Johnny Carson, excerpted at Entertainment Weekly , Carson became convinced in 1962 that wife Joanne was cheating on him. Bushkin says he, Carson, and a private... More »

Lennon's Killer Almost Picked Johnny Carson, Liz Taylor

Mark David Chapman settled on 'accessible' Beatle

(Newser) - Mark David Chapman considered killing Liz Taylor or Johnny Carson, he told a parole hearing earlier this month. There were other names on his hit list but he can no longer remember them, Chapman revealed. "I lose memory of perhaps the other two," he said, according to a... More »

Johnny Carson Estate Gives $156M to Charity

Money will be distributed by his foundation

(Newser) - Johnny Carson has rewritten the book on celebrity philanthropy. The late entertainer's charitable foundation has received $156 million from a trust that Carson set up years before his death in 2005, reports the Smoking Gun . The bequest means that Carson's foundation is now by far the biggest of Hollywood charities.... More »

Impressionist Travalena Dead at 66

(Newser) - Fred Travalena, a master impressionist whose catalog of voices ranged from US presidents to Frank Sinatra doing Boy George, has died at 66 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the Los Angeles Times reports. The actor-singer-mimic, known as the "Man of a Thousand Faces," opened for the likes of Shirley... More »

Iconic Sidekick Ed McMahon Dead at 86

Former Tonight Show sidekick fought cancer

(Newser) - Ed McMahon died last night in Los Angeles. The former Johnny Carson sidekick, 86, had long fought cancer and was recently admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, WAPT reports. Besides his Tonight Show role, McMahon was known for hosting Star Search and appearing on commercials handing giant checks to American... More »

Heeeere's Miserable Johnny!

'Sad' funnyman cheated on wives, struggled with mom

(Newser) - Funnyman Johnny Carson was a miserable serial wife cheater who was tormented by a mother who never gave him a compliment. That's the word from his one-time lawyer and manager, who's shopping around a tell-all tome about his late boss. "He was a great star, but not a great... More »

D-Lister? Host a Game Show!

Game show offer actors new showcase

(Newser) - With game shows making a dramatic comeback, agents and their star clients looking to revive flagging careers are angling to get in on the action, reports the New York Times. Executives at cable's Game Show Network are being peppered with resumes, tapes, and pitches. The latest crop of new hosts... More »

Heeeeeeeeeeeeere's a Lawsuit!

$200K suit adds to McMahon's financial woes

(Newser) - Citibank has filed suit against former Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon to recover $200,000 it loaned to the struggling actor, the AP reports. McMahon, 85, who has not worked since falling 18 months ago, also faces foreclosure on his Beverly Hills home. “If you spend more money than... More »

Carson Sidekick Faces Home Foreclosure

McMahon, out of work after injury, tries to keep $5M Beverly Hills pad

(Newser) - Former Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon, 85 and out of work following a fall, is in negotiations with lenders to save his Beverly Hills home from foreclosure, the Wall Street Journal. He owed $644,000 on a $4.8 million loan as of February, plus $300,000 on a line... More »

Johnny (Sorry, Jay) Top TV Icon

The famous faces of TV are (nearly) all present in this Hall of Fame

(Newser) - Letterman and Stewart made the cut, but Leno got stiffed when Entertainment Weekly and TV Land did their list of the top 50 TV icons. Leading the list, of course, the guy who started it all:
  1. Johnny Carson
  2. Lucille Ball
  3. Oprah Winfrey
More »

Leno's 2nd Thoughts Bug NBC

Late night star unhappy with 2009 departure, NBC mulls options

(Newser) - Jay Leno isn't laughing about his Tonight Show departure, and neither are his bosses. The late-night king is scheduled to step aside in 2009 to make way for Conan O'Brien, but he's having second thoughts, and NBC worries he'll Jaywalk to another network, the LA Times reports. “It’s... More »

NBC Angles to Keep Leno After Tonight

Execs brainstorm projects for 2009, when Conan takes chair

(Newser) - As Jay Leno nears his final Tonight Show in 2009, NBC is scrambling to keep the late night king at the network and away from rivals ABC and Fox. Peacock execs have pitched a prime time variety show, miscellaneous work on NBC's cable channels, and a showcase of Jay-on-demand through... More »

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