I still can’t beleive he’s gone!! I’ll miss him!!!

Nobody did it better: Canadian comics pay tribute to Johnny Carson
TORONTO (CP) – In so many ways, Johnny Carson was an original – one of the few show business personalities who played the showbiz game and won big, leaving at the top of his game.
Undefeated champion of late night. Never pushed out. And when he retired, barely another sign of him – no infomercials, no appearances at political conventions, just the odd joke sent to his friend David Letterman.
“He had the classiest exit ever,” Canadian comedian Rick Mercer said Sunday. “He retired and he never looked back, and he was never really in the public eye again. It was very classy.”
For 30 years, Carson ruled the TV talk-show world, spawning imitators and parodies, including a legendary re-working of the signature “Herrrre’s Johnny!” line by Jack Nicholson in the 1970s horror movie The Shining.
Canadian comedy impressario Mark Breslin said he would always think of Carson as “a gleaming figure.”
“They talk about how stars emit a kind of light and you saw that with him,” Breslin said.
There were indelible on-air moments: Johnny quipping that he’d give up a month’s salary for a peek beneath Dolly Parton’s blouse (with his huge salary, not likely); Johnny giving that dead-pan Jack Benny look whenever one of those cute zoo animals crawled on top of his head; Johnny shamelessly, giddily ripping off Jonathan Winters (his Aunt Blabby was really Winters’ Maude Frickert).
His impact on the TV talk-show format was enormous. When Carson took over The Tonight Show in 1964, he returned it to its lightweight populist routes, away from the more erudite conversation encouraged by Jack Parr during his term in office from 1957 to ’62, and back to the fluffiness of originator Steve Allen.
Carson also humbly returned to Tonight’s original title when he took over the show. NBC was so impressed by Paar that they briefly renamed the show the Jack Paar Show, but Carson would have none of it.
The quality of TV conversation might have taken a dip under Carson, arguably until Dick Cavett came along and gave it another try, but at the same time he created a virtual comedy empire that lasted three decades.
His influence was such that the career of any rising comic who got a crack at Johnny’s show was launched into the stratosphere if he got the nod of approval or, even better, was invited to sit at the couch for awhile. When Canada’s Jim Carrey didn’t get asked onto the couch after an appearance, he feared his career was over.
“Certainly, being asked to come over and sit down next to Johnny was considered the great honour,” Breslin said, adding that Canadians like Howie Mandel, Martin Short and a handful of the SCTV gang appeared on the Tonight Show – sometimes making it as far as the sofa.
Carson was also the first late-night personality to face serious competition with the proliferation of new channel options in the latter half of his era. He also made the groundbreaking move from New York to California in the early 1970s, a controversial decision that nevertheless put more superstars within the show’s reach.
Is there anyone like him now?
“It’s all broken down,” says Breslin. “There’s somebody doing a great part of each of the things he was able to do, but nobody who can synthesize it and put it all together.”
Mercer agrees, saying Carson “set a gold standard” for monologues, in particular, that few can match with any consistency.
“I know that any comedian in any comedy room remembers Johnny’s monologues – it’s amazing that right now you still see people trying to match them.”
Breslin summed it up this way:
“I think Letterman is a fabulous broadcaster, but ironic and he represents that ironic side of him, and then I think that Jon Stewart’s show is amazing and Jon Stewart is incredible and that represents the political side of him … but there’s nobody who can put it all together like Johnny Carson did.”
He will be missed. He is missed already.