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Johnny Carson, Dead At 79

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Johnny Carson, the quick-witted "Tonight Show" host who became a national institution putting his viewers to bed for 30 years with a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter and heartland charm, died Sunday. He was 79.

Carson died early Sunday morning, according to his nephew, Jeff Sotzing. "He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable," Sotzing told The Associated Press.

He did not provide further details, but NBC said Carson died of emphysema at his Malibu home.

The boyish-looking Nebraska native with the disarming grin, who survived every attempt to topple him from his late-night talk show throne, was a star who managed never to distance himself from his audience.

Last week The New York Post reported that Carson, on occasion, sent jokes to David Letterman who he regarded as the rightful heir to his chair at the Tonight Show.

A wordsmithing comic and amateur magician from Nebraska who didn't act, sing, or dance; Johnny Carson will be remembered as one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th Century.

He was a legend, and he'll be missed...


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Comments (16)

Rest in peace Johnny. This... (Below threshold)
keith:

Rest in peace Johnny. This man was the model of humility, one who let his body of work speak for itself. A lesson for the likes of Bill Clinton, Dan Rather...ect.

The latenight talk show hos... (Below threshold)
Don:

The latenight talk show host by which all others are measured.

I have missed him since he stopped hosting the Tonight Show...and now I miss him even more.

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrest in Peace Johnny.

That's actually the saddest... (Below threshold)
Jack:

That's actually the saddest thing I've heard all day.

Johnny Carson has a new gig... (Below threshold)
pam:

Johnny Carson has a new gig.

He's headlining in Heaven. Think of all of the great guests who have gone on before him who will be first in line to be on his heavenly show!!!

He can introduce the Rat Pa... (Below threshold)

He can introduce the Rat Pack on his heavenly talk/variety show.

RIP, Johnny...thanks for the laughter.

And another legend gone... ... (Below threshold)

And another legend gone... yes, this is the saddest thing today. RIP, Mr. Carson.

What Jack said. I loved Joh... (Below threshold)

What Jack said. I loved Johnny, and I've never been able to develop the attachment to Jay Leno that I had to Johnny. RIP, indeed. What a sad day.

Johnny Carson - the best... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

Johnny Carson - the best late night personality of all time. We'll miss you.

How dead is he?... (Below threshold)
mr lawson:

How dead is he?

/ripped from fark
/R.I.P. you were the greatest

Your co-blogger Jay T. just... (Below threshold)

Your co-blogger Jay T. just scored with him.

My dad died of emphysema. I... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

My dad died of emphysema. I took care of him the last few months. It's a horrible, ugly, slow drowning death. At the end they are ready to be relieved from the suffering.

Carson made a huge impact on my life. I would stay up late watching him as a kid. I saw the show live twice. Since he went off the air I could count on my hands how many times I have watched, never mind made it through an entire episode of either Leno or Letterman.

Old Hollywood is officially dead. Someone save us from the new one.

Pure class...a commodity in... (Below threshold)

Pure class...a commodity in very short supply these days.

RIP Mr Carson. You were pre... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

RIP Mr Carson. You were pretty funny when I watched you. Of course, he had the luxury of dying under better circumstances than many, like our boys over in Iraq. Let
s remember them too.

My thoughts are simple. I ... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

My thoughts are simple. I hope and pray that this Earth's Lord and Saviour was his Lord and Saviour. Rest in Peace Johnny and may your family find comfort in God.

It was tough to say goodbye... (Below threshold)
HeyMike:

It was tough to say goodbye in '92 - its just has tough now--RIP Johnny

I loved this guy; he was a ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I loved this guy; he was a classic. Still miss hm.

Cindy




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