Wednesday, January 26, 2005

From New York to Burbank

Who knows what Johnny Carson's politics were? Perhaps it's unlikely that he voted for Governor Reagan or President Reagan, despite his joke that Jerry Brown once tried marijuana, but, unlike Bill Clinton, didn't exhale. Anyway, his death has given everyone, and perhaps especially conservatives, an excuse to complain about the coarsening of culture since he retired from late-night TV. It's true; Carson was more refined than his successors. Of course, he was no prig; but he could convey with a look what today seems to require a string of profanity.

I just wish that Carson hadn't moved the Tonight Show from NYC to Burbank and made so many bad jokes about New York. He contributed to the (deservedly) bad reputation that the city had in the '70s in a way that has only recently been undone. But disliking the New York City of the '70s maybe only confirms Carson's inherent good taste and judgment.

Anyway, Larry Miller's show-biz stories are always entertaining, so have fun reading this piece about his appearances on Carson.


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