The 10 best Johnny Carson moments (Videos)

By | October 2, 2012 at 9:46 am | 12 comments | feature slider, Lists, TV/Movies | Tags: ,

Fifty years ago this week, Johnny Carson became the host of The Tonight Show, taking over for Jack Paar and beginning his 30-year run at NBC. In honor of this landmark, Carson Entertainment Group and MediaMine launched a viewer poll via Facebook, YouTube and email, to gather the 10 best Carson moments from a list of pre-established categories. Below, you’ll find each category and the winning video moment. Enjoy!

BEST SKETCH: Johnny is joined by a smoking hot Betty White in this sketch. The two play Adam and Eve going through history’s very first divorce.

BEST CIVILIAN MOMENT: Johnny is joined by Myrtle Young, a very nice lady who also happens to be a world-class potato chip collector.

BEST MOVIE STAR MOMENT: Jimmy Stewart reads a heart-wrenching poem about his dog Beau.

BEST STAND-UP COMEDY MOMENT: Andy Kaufman drops his amazing Elvis impersonation among many others, like Archie Bunker and Ed McMahon. Simply amazing.

BEST TV STAR MOMENT: Michael Landon and Johnny Carson had dinner at a fine restaurant. Things didn’t end normally.

BEST MUSIC MOMENT: Johnny joins iconic performer Julio Iglesias in a duet.

BEST CARNAC MOMENT: Johnny’s Carnac the Magnificent was perhaps the most well-known recurring bit on his show. And this just might be the funniest 30-second bit in late-night television history.

BEST CLASSIC CARSON MOMENT: Going way back, this clip finds Ed Ames teaching Johnny how to properly throw a tomahawk.

BEST ANIMAL MOMENT: Johnny’s not scared of a little cat…or is he?

Boxing promoter Don King visits Johnny to tell him about the origin of his amazing hair.

Are there other moments you would’ve included? Sound off in the comments section! You can also check out more info at the Johnny Carson Facebook page.

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  • Walter

    When he told Dolly Parton he’d give a years salary for a peek inside her top. Also Lola Falana accidentally flashed him (the first wardrobe malfunction).
    But my favorite, and what brought me to this site, is when he had contestants from the Eskimo-Indian Olympics on the show. He actually beat a couple of the champions at their contests. Then they presented him with an oosik, a walrus penis bone. When he learned what it was he tapped it on the desk and asked, “is it always this hard?”. When they said yes he said, “Lucky devil”, then turned beet red when he realized what he’d said.

  • joeinvestor

    The funniest episode I remember was when Johnny pranked Ed by having someone dressed up as the Pope come out from backstage holding a publishers clearing house envelope addressed to Pope John Paul.

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  • hypercat77

    Wheres that video of Johnny Carson reacting to seeing a large aardvark (guest) suddenly defecating on his stage ?

  • charlie

    the skit with carl ryner, doc, with black and red dots on their foreheads. how do i find it?

  • charlie

    am i on

  • Cook, CJames

    Two spontaneous moments:

    (1) The 1960s show with Dean Martin, Bob Hope, George Gobels, Judy Carne, Bob Wagner, Carol Wayne.
    (2) The night Carson invaded Don Rickles sitcom taping across the hall when Carson discovered Rickles had broken his cigarette box. Rickles was speechless, believe it or not.

  • big

    Johnny and Doc talk about where Doc will be for Thanksgiving dinner. Tragicomedy at it’s best. Also, seeing Drew Carey as the last comic to make the couch on the first trip to the show. “You’re damned funny.”

  • Brian

    Albert Brooks did the funniest bits of all on this show. No one came close.

  • angryfrog

    They’re all the same video – Johnny Eats a Prized Potato Chip.

  • RecruitingANIMAL

    I’m not saying Johnny wasn’t funny but these are not funny at all

  • ben

    damn no rickles! also, that kaufmann bit is one of the greatest bits ever.

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