1983 Book: Johnny Carson on comedy, magic

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Guest » 01/27/05 04:02 PM

An interview with the late Johnny Carson appeared in _The Playboy Interview Volume II_, a 1983 hardcover book. Publisher: Wideview Perigee (A Putnam imprint). The interviewer was Alex Haley and the editor for the book was G. Barry Golson. The Carson interview was first published in December 1967.

Early in the interview, Johnny Carson, a popular late-night talk show host on the NBC broadcast television network, explained how he thinks of himself (comedian) and others (audience). Mr. Carson's approach to performing is worth reading.

Later in the interview, Mr. Carson discussed his early years in magic.

(By the way, the same book includes interviews with Jean-Paul Sartre and Arnold Toynbee.)

--Chris Roth
Milwaukee WI USA

Postby Rene Clement » 02/23/05 07:26 AM

You might also be interested in a CD that is put out by Laugh.com called "Johnny Carson On Comedy". It is an interview lasting a little over an hour with the man on comedy topics. Johnny even goes into his magic background.
Rene Clement
Posts: 108
Joined: 01/28/08 01:00 PM
Location: Queens NY

Postby Guest » 12/27/06 06:21 PM

Earlier I mentioned the Haley interview.
The following are three more resources about
the life and times of Johnny Carson:

* Michael O'Donoghue wrote "More to Come" for
the September 1972 issue of the _National
Lampoon_. In my opinion, "More to Come"
may have been O'Donoghue's best article.

* See pages 180 and 200-206 of _Subversive
Laughter: The Liberating Power of Comedy_,
a 1994 hardcover by Ron Jenkins. Jenkins is
a professor of performing arts. The author
provides readers with examples of a)
subversive and unsettling political
humor performances and b) political humor
performances with little or no disturbing
component. Ron Jenkins is to be applauded
for including examples of performances
outside of the United States.

* The late-night NBC host may be briefly
mentioned, possibly once or twice, in
_No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic
Media on Social Behavior_, an award-winning
hardcover by Joshua Meyrowitz. (By the way,
in my opinion, this book may explain
why some nonmagicians are increasingly
likely to ask magicians to reveal hidden
methods. I am referring to the mass-level
model presented by Meyrowitz. The model seems
to suggest that viewers, listeners, and
readers have changing expectations about
previously "hidden" facts.)

--Chris Roth

Postby Guest » 12/27/06 07:44 PM

This question is a little off post, but was that the same Michael O'Donoghue who wrote for the early (RE: Best) years of Saturday Night Live?


Postby Guest » 12/27/06 08:46 PM

Originally posted by Gord Gardiner:
This question is a little off post, but was that the same Michael O'Donoghue who wrote for the early (RE: Best) years of Saturday Night Live?

They're one and the same.

I could write more, but suddenly I am run over by a truck.

(Some of you will get the reference...)

Postby Guest » 12/28/06 09:11 AM

Ohhhhhh Nooooooo!!!!

Postby Guest » 12/28/06 01:31 PM

Ill bet that Sluggo was driving the truck, right?

Dick Cavett is another 60s/70s talk show host that was interested in magic. He even won the best new performer trophy at the 1952 IBM convention in St. Louis. He was also a good friend and writer for both Jack Parr and Johnny Carson.

You can read Cavetts interesting story at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cavett

Carsons is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Carson

Enjoy. Mark Damon

P.S. Does anyone else remember Johnnys famous stumping of bogus psychic Uri Geller in 1973? A few years later, The Amazing Randi, who had made sure Gellers props werent fixed on Carsons show, wrote a book and did a lecture tour debunking Geller. He did the lecture for our IBM ring in Oshkosh, WI about 1975. I still have his autographed book in my collection.

A few more interesting links:




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