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American television personality (1923-2009)

Well, the gods must have been smiling at me because out of my big mouth on that first show came a cry to stand beside "Heigh-ho, Silver!" as one of the most memorable phrases in television history. To several million Americans, I said, "Heeeeere's Johnny!"

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

Johnny being funny in drag was like jazz: you couldn't analyze or explain it. You either got it or you didn't.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

Almost five thousand times, Johnny Carson walked through those colored curtains after I had taken a considerable amount of time to say two words: "Heeeeere's Johnny!" Almost five thousand times he walked out to the sound of a song he had helped write, in a unique style that defined debonair, and with a grin that brought to mind the cutest kid in detention, to show millions of Americans the happiest way to end the day.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

My work as a pitchman taught me how to sell anything to anyone. My work with Johnny put me on a level I never dreamed of achieving. I am not a professional comedian or even an amateur, but there were times when Johnny made me one.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

Johnny wasn't an alcoholic and neither was I, but we didn't drink Ovaltine either.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

Everyone thought Johnny was so cool, and he was -- on the surface. But Johnny the Perfectionist was tense underneath. Only I saw the cigarette burning under his desk every night and the endless drumming with a couple of pencils that he liked to hold.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

Johnny did use writers for the monologue and the sketches, but we always felt the show was best when the two of us were ad-libbing our way into the wild blue yonder.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

Bad taste makes a lot of money in America, but Johnny showed another way to go. He showed that it was possible for a man to be tender as well as funny.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny

I don't think I'll every be able to accept that Johnny is gone. His favorite song, "I'll Be Seeing You," is hard for me to hear now, much harder than hearing Stevie Wonder sing it to Johnny on one of the last shows. So often I look at a phone with a sinking feeling because I can't pick it up and get to him.

ED MCMAHON, Here's Johnny


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