In his Standard Online column, comedian Larry Miller offers a remembrance of his Tonight Show appearance when his missing suit pants arrived as the curtain parted for him: “Johnny.” Best of all, Miller captures Carson’s distinctive attributes as an entertainer in two paragraphs at the beginning and the end of his piece. First this:
Well, I loved the guy, and I mean, first, as a fan. I feel sorry for the younger folks who never saw him, who too often have to absorb their entertainment today in cynical bites, and think humor means anger and audacity and graphic descriptions of this and that. They will never know what it means when you take talent and hard work and mix it with grace, joy, class, respect, and forbearance.
You all know how good Carson was. In an era that seems to grow coarser each day, he radiated manners and virtue. Everyone used to say that Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America when he was on, but I think it just might have been Johnny Carson. I know who I’d trust more, and I sure know who was funnier.
In between these two paragraphs Miller tells a helluva story.