Kevin Pollak Recalls Trying to Teach Gabriel Byrne How to Imitate Carson

The oddest and funniest echo of this week’s gargantuan news trail about the future of The Tonight Show belongs to Kevin Pollak.

During the actor’s appearance on KCRW’s weekly program The Treatment, host Elvis Mitchell noted that Pollak’s new book How I Slept My Way to the Middle does not include the business of how just about everyone on the set of The Usual Suspects got into imitating Carson. Here’s Pollak, from the March 20 radio conversation:

“When you say everyone was doing Johnny Carson, I want to give credit to Kevin Spacey. Kevin and I both do a really good Johnny Carson. Everyone else was just being kind of silly, except for Gabriel Byrne, who was fascinated…”

“So Kevin and I teaching Gabriel Byrne how to do Johnny Carson was one of my favorite things. It’s difficult to re-enact without swearing.”

Pollak goes on to explain that Byrne would constantly bail, in frustration, and start cussing. He also noted that both he and Dana Carvey have no problem admitting that they learned how to imitate Carson from watching the way Canadian funnyman Rich Little did it. Listen to the full Treatment conversation here.

[Photo: DFree/]