American Masters

JohnnyCarson (2)
In "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," the PBS American Masters documentary airing tomorrow night (5/14), the "Tonight Show" host is referred to as an American Sphinx - right there before our eyes, yet enigmatic.  Director Peter Jones shines a light on the more mysterious aspects of Carson's life - the mother he could never please, the sons he felt he'd shortchanged, the wives who took a back seat to his career - in this special pegged to the 50 th anniversary of Johnny's takeover of "The Tonight Show" and 20 th anniversary of his departure.
When Dick Cavett allows you to hitch a ride on one of his conversational caravans, there's really no telling where you'll end up. In 50-plus years of professional conversationalism, the man has met and chatted up everyone from Aaron Sorkin to ZZ Top, so one anecdote can't help but lead to another, and then another, and pretty soon the narrative includes more characters than Day of the Locust.
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