The Great Telecommunicator: JOHNNY CARSON (1925-2005)

JOHNNY CARSON 1925--2005

America began its life by throwing off a king and has been crowning them ever since. We have a King of Pop, a King of All Media, a King of Beers. That Johnny Carson was dubbed the King of Late Night, at first blush, says less about him than about our national case of regis envy.

But in Carson's case the title may for once have been apt. What we lost when we became a republic was a sense of the slow sweep of history. Our Presidents serve for four to eight years--even F.D.R. went just over 12. Carson ruled the...

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