Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who should play the king (and I don't mean Elvis)

The news hit today that NBC is developing a miniseries based on the life of The King of Late Night.

Of course, I mean Johnny Carson.

Let me let you in on a little secret. Johnny Carson is my idol. More than Elvis, more than Ernie Pyle, more than anybody but my Dad, I have always wanted to be Johnny Carson.

I wanted to host "The Tonight Show." I wanted a sidekick like Ed and a bandleader like Doc (and a band like Doc's). I try to time my jokes like Johnny and it frustrates me that his is one of the voices that I can't impersonate. I've worked on it for years and just can't get it.

Anyway, the press release says the miniseries is based on a book called "Carson the Magnificent" by Bill Zehme (which is all but impossible to find) and that the Carson role hasn't yet been cast.

"Who should play Johnny Carson?" IMDB asks.

One answer and one answer only: Kevin Spacey.

Need proof?

I would have said Rich Little (and here's why), but he's too old.

Get Spacey or give up.

Meanwhile, here's a note to Carson Entertainment: Get the original shows on TV. Not "Carson's Comedy Classics." The show. The full show. Unedited. Please. Pretty please?

I'd watch it every night at 11:30, certainly over Leno and what's his name on ABC, and even over Letterman, who has lost his edge.


P.S. This is my all-time favorite Carson moment.

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