Johnny Carson: overrated!

Tucker on Carson

carson.jpgNew York mag contributing editor and critic, Ken Tucker, has a blog (recently established, it appears) and says that while he’s “sorry Carson has died,” he “stand[s] by what [he] wrote in [his] new book,” Kissing Bill O’Reilly, Roasting Miss Piggy: 100 Things To Love and Hate About Television:

Nearly all light-night hosts pay unctuous obiesance to King Carson. Sorry, boys: Johnny—while obviously superior to Leno in being better at feigning interest and laughter at guests’ babble—may have been more smoothly skilled than Jay, but he’s also dreadfully overrated. Most of Carson’s greatest-hits—his 1965 glee when guest Ed Ames accidentally threw a tomahawk that landed near the crotch of an outlined-figure target (Johnny’s ad lib: “I didn’t even know you were Jewish”: groan) his scampering leap into announcer Ed McMahon’s arms when a guest cougar growled at him—can now be seen as obviously staged bits. Carson stole his “Aunt Blabby” character from Jonathan Winters’ Maude Fricker; the “Stump the Band” routine from a predecessor, Steve Allen”

So in summary, Carson = lower left “Approval Matrix” quadrant.

Johnny Carson: A Revisionist View [KenTucker.net]