Johnny Carson was very much a political animal — but one from another era.
Watching the repeats of vintage “The Tonight Show” episodes on Antenna TV or Time-Life’s upcoming DVD collections “Johnny and Friends: The Complete Collection” and “The Vault Series, Vols. 1-6,” shows how his political humor was pointed but much more genial than the caustic satire of such current late-night hosts as Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Seth Myers.
Take these samples from Carson’s monologues:
-- “There is a power struggle going on between President Reagan’s advisers. Moe and Curly are out. Larry is still in.”
-- “Democracy is welcoming people from other lands, and giving them...