Monday, January 24, 2005


The tragic loss of the great Johnny Carson certainly brings back memories for all of us. In my case, of course, I am flooded with recollections of the many wonderful and unforgettable appearances I didn't make on his show.
The first time I wasn't on the Tonight Show was at age 16, when my searing fastball and dizzying breaking pitches as the star of my high school team got my picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated and agents hounding my family at all hours.
Just a few years later, I wasn't on the show for leading the California Golden Bears to an undefeated season and a thumping of Ohio State in the Rose Bowl with my uncanny passing and minklike evasiveness.
Only later would I not be invited on by Johnny to discuss my first New York Times best-selling novel, the first of several times that I found myself not on the program as the evening's "literary guest."
During the 1980s, I was not on the Tonight Show at least a dozen times as a stand-up comedian, and was later not a regular guest because my hit sitcom was also on NBC.
And finally, it was the ultimate honor to not find my name in consideration as Johnny's replacement when he retired.
As if anyone could truly replace Johnny Carson.
I can't imagine my life without him.


Blogger ....J.Michael Robertson said...

The word heartfelt was coined to describe a tribute such as yours. If it didn't exist, we would have had to settle for dyspeptic.

January 24, 2005 at 4:32 PM  

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