Johnny Carson passed away over the weekend. A sad loss as he was truly a great entertainer.
I am just old enough to remember Johnny Carson as the host of The Tonight Show. I used to sneak downstairs and hide behind a chair and watch the show. I'm pretty sure my parents knew I was there.
Not only was Mr. Carson a brilliant comedian, but he was a great interviewer and-- on stage-- a great role model (his personal life was a mess, apparently).
In particular, Carson's stage presence, whether solo or interviewing, was brilliant.
As an interviewer, Carson was one of the few who always seemed to maintain respect and interest in the interviewee, regardless of how completely boneheaded that person might be. Yet, if a person was particularly vacuous, Carson could still pull off a great interview while illuminating the stupidity in a non-offensive and often very subtle fashion. Quite the fine line to walk and Carson did so brilliantly.