It’s Monday.

Johnny Carson died yesterday. And though I’m from the Letterman/O’Brien generation of Late Night, seeing those clips still remind me of some fond moments from the archives.In college we had a variety show we produced a couple of times a semester that made late night TV a sort of passion for me. We were at a Christian University and therefore our content HAD to be squeaky clean. But it wasn’t a barrier for ideas. In fact, I reveled in it. I became quite smug that we took the higher road, in fact. That our jokes and gags were as funny or funnier than that of the weeknight’s shows or SNL’s weekend show BECAUSE we worked so hard to keep our content as unquestionable as possible.Watching Carson’s clips it becomes apparent that even though he had a larger audience, and a longer leash, he worked as hard to nail it without resorting to the cheap escape of an off-color joke. He was a class act, and not only set the standard, but created the standard in the first place. As Letterman has said in reflection of Carson’s passing, “All of us who came after are pretenders.”In the name of fun, here’s a great link for the day:


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