Johnny Carson

Robin Williams
The report that Robin Williams had died on Aug. 11 of an apparent suicide by asphyxiation came like that dreaded phone call, the bad news regarding a friend or relative about whom you've long feared the worst.
Jay Leno
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will honor comedian Jay Leno with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the nation's top award for humor, according to the Associated Press.
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Let's just proclaim Tom Hanks America's Official Historian.
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As a stand-up comic, David Brenner's trademark line was "Did you ever notice ... ?"
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If you were a teenager at a party in the mid-1960s, and you yearned to get up close and personal with someone else, slow dancing wasn't much of an option unless you wanted to look like a square who couldn't do the Frug.
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Johnny Carson wanted to book Elizabeth Taylor as a Tonight Show guest for 30 years, and in February 1992, just a few months before Carson ceded his late night throne and franchise to Jay Leno, the mercurial actress finally said yes. During the interview the two legends traded good-natured barbs about marriage and divorce (about which each of them knew more than most). It was a meeting of Hollywood royalty, and it's one of the fascinating old-school celebrity chats to be featured this month on Carson on TCM, a new weekly series that compiles the iconic late night host's best-ever interviews. It premieres Monday at 8 p.m. on Turner Classic Movies.
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"I'm a pretty run-of-the mill alcoholic," says Oscar winner Paul Williams. "I never came out of a blackout with a Russian arms dealer, or with Norman Mailer and a couple of hookers in a Paris hotel."
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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.
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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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So, I've been doing this Movies for Grownups radio show for eight years, and every week I prowl the web looking for audio clips that'll make it sound, you know, interesting. The thing is, I never, ever throw any of this stuff out. So now I have hours and hours of the most random sound samples you can imagine.
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