Heeeere’s Trivia

This Carson trivia was compiled for TV Times by Stephen Cox, the author of "Here's Johnny"

When Johnny Carson takes center stage on “The Tonight Show” for the last time Friday night, he will have done so 4,531 times, beginning in 1962 from New York and since 1972 from Burbank.

Retro looks back at the late-night icon. This Carson trivia was compiled for TV Times by Stephen Cox, the author of “Here’s Johnny,” newly published by Harmony Books ($12).

For more on Carson’s last hurrah, see Calendar.

Can You Play Carnac? Answers 1. A new leaf 2. Weight watcher 3. When the cow jumps over the moon 4. Yukka-doo 5. The girl with something extra 6. Preparation H and take-home pay 7. Spam and Jim Baker 8. All systems go 9. Hell or high water 10. Sis Boom Bah Questions 1. What did Eve give Adam as his first change of underwear? 2. What do you call a peeping-Tom at a fat farm? 3. When will President Nixon give up the tapes? 4. What forms on your yuk early in the morning? 5. What do you call a girl whose measurements are 34-26-38-9? 6. What can you depend on for shrinking? 7. Name two things that’ll be in the can for the next 18 years. 8. What happens if you take a Sinutab, a Maalox and a Feen-a-mint? 9. Name two things you really don’t want in your underwear. 10. Describe the sound of a sheep blowing up.


True or False?

1. Johnny Carson appeared on the cover of Jet Magazine.

2. The Tonight Show moved its headquarters from New York to California in 1970.

3. The televised marriage of Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki on Dec. 17, 1969, was the highest-rated “Tonight Show”?


4. More than 24,000 guests have appeared with Johnny on “The Tonight Show.”

5. Johnny Carson lost a court case in 1983 preventing the use of the phrase “Here’s Johnny” as a brand name for portable toilets.

6. Johnny Carson has been married five times.

7. Jack Paar made no appearances on “The Tonight Show” after Johnny Carson took his place as host.

8. Johnny Carson has hosted five Academy Award telecasts.

9. Shecky Greene, Helen Reddy, Roy Clark, Kenny Rogers, and Kermit the Frog were all guest-hosts for Johnny.

10. “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” has never been censored.

1. True: Nov. 2, 1978 issue; 2. False: It was May, 1972; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False: He won the case; 6. False: Only four times (as of May, 1992); 7. False: He made two guest appearances; 8. True: 1979-82 and 1984; 9. True; 10. False.


Match Game

Match the guests with their respective appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”


1. Marlon Brando

2. Marty Ingels

3. Zsa Zsa Gabor

4. Paul Williams

5. Carl Reiner


6. A marmoset from the San Diego Zoo

7. George Peppard

8. Don Rickles

9. George Burns

10. John Davidson

11. Elizabeth Taylor


A. Cajoled Carson to switch places and let him sit at the desk and interview Johnny.

B. Suffered a full-blown nervous breakdown on the show during the interview and had to leave the set.

C. Always refused to appear, but finally did in 1992 wearing black-leather, heavy-metal garb.

D. Climbed atop Johnny’s head and dribbled.

E. Walked off the program in a huff on April 19, 1968.

F. Forgot the lyrics to a song, went to the couch to join Johnny, then recalled the words and rejoined the band.

G. Abruptly took scissors and began cutting Johnny’s suit, so he would be ensured a spot on the next anniversary special.

H. Began quizzing Johnny about his ex-wives and consequently never returned to the show.

I. Accidentally poked Johnny in the eye with a two-headed pencil on Johnny’s desk.

J. Forgot a song’s lyrics, became angry, kicked an audio monitor and shorted out the entire studio electrical system. (A “Best of Carson” was aired that evening).

K. Came out dressed in full costume and makeup as an elder chimpanzee from “Battle of the Planet of the Apes” and sang a song with the orchestra.

1-E, 2-B, 3-H, 4-K, 5-G, 6-D, 7-A, 8-I, 9-F, 10-J, 11-C

From the Carson File

--Singer and songwriter Paul Anka (“Puppy Love,” “My Way”) wrote the theme song for “The Tonight Show” and titled it “Johnny’s Theme.” It is the only melody of Anka’s that lacks lyrics.

--Steve Allen was the original host of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

--Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Benny Hill, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford all refused to appear on “The Tonight Show.”

--"The Tonight Show” has won five Emmy Awards.

--Johnny Carson is a magician, a proficient drummer, a fervent reader, a tennis player and fancies astronomy as a hobby.

--Carson was introduced by Groucho Marx to American audiences on Oct. 1, 1962, as the new host of “The Tonight Show.” Other guests included Tony Bennett, Joan Crawford (in her television debut), Mel Brooks, actor Tom Pedi, Rudy Valle and The Phoenix Singers.

--Johnny Carson opened a “Here’s Johnny’s Restaurant,” which was to become a fast-food chain. Items on the menu included Bird of Paradise fried chicken and Here’s Johnny’s cole slaw. The chain ultimately flopped.

--Johnny Carson once appeared in a Broadway play, “Tunnel of Love,” filing in for actor Tom Ewell.

--About 83 different guest hosts have subbed for Johnny on “The Tonight Show.” Carson, in turn, once guest-hosted for the late Sammy Davis Jr. on the singer’s NBC show.

--If you ran all of Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Shows” back to back, it would run nonstop for more than 300 days.

--Seven Presidents have passed through the White House during Johnny’s 30-year term at NBC.

The Great Carsoni

And you thought all Johnny Carson did was “The Tonight Show”:

Classic TV appearances

“The Ed Sullivan Show” CBS, first appearance: Oct. 9, 1955 (subsequent appearances in 1957 and 1961)

“Playhouse 90" (“Three Men on a Horse”), CBS, April 18, 1957

“U.S. Steel Hour” (“Queen of the Orange Bowl”), CBS, Jan. 13, 1960

“New Comedy Showcase” (“Johnny Come Lately”), CBS, comedy series pilot aired Aug. 8, 1960

“Oh Johnny!” (Don Fedderson Productions TV special), ABC, 1961

“Timex All-Star Comedy Show,” ABC, April 6, 1962

“Get Smart” (“Aboard the Oriental Express”), NBC, Jan. 8, 1966

“The Sammy Davis Jr. Show” (guest host), NBC, Jan. 14, 1966

“NBC Children’s Theatre” (“The World of Stuart Little”), March 6, 1966

“Bob Hope Chrysler Theater” (“Murder at NBC”), March 15, 1967

“Johnny Carson Discovers Cypress Gardens,” NBC special, Sept. 7, 1967

“Get Smart” (“The King Lives?”), NBC, Jan. 13, 1968

“Jack Benny’s Carnival Nights,” NBC, March 20, 1968

“Here’s Lucy” (“Lucy and Johnny Carson”), CBS, Dec. 1, 1969

“Joys” (NBC special), March 5, 1976

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (“Mary’s Big Party”), CBS, March 5, 1977

“Life Goes to War: Hollywood and the Homefront” (NBC special), Sept. 18, 1977

“A Love Letter to Jack Benny” (NBC special), Feb. 5, 1981

“Johnny Carson’s Greatest Practical Jokes” (NBC special), 1983

“James Stewart: A Wonderful Life” (PBS special), 1986

“NBC’s 60th Anniversary Celebration” (TV special), May 12, 1986

“Johnny Goes Home” (NBC special), Feb. 15, 1987

“Laurel & Hardy: A Tribute to the Boys” (Disney Channel), 1992

“Cheers” (“Heeeere’s Cliffy”) NBC, May 7, 1992

Other TV appearances

“The Red Skelton Show,” “Colgate Comedy Hour,” “The Polly Bergen Show,” “Who’s In the Picture?,” “What’s My Line?,” “The Jack Benny Show,” “The Jack Paar Show,” “Pantomime Quiz,” “The Steve Allen Show,” “Arthur Murray Party,” “The Garry Moore Show,” “The Andy Williams Show,” “I’ve Got a Secret,” “The Arthur Murray Party for Bob Hope,” “Steve Allen Plymouth Show,” “Dinah Shore Chevy Show,” “Dick Clark’s World of Talent,” “Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall,” “Celebrity Talent Scouts,” “To Tell the Truth,” “Here’s Hollywood,” “Password,” “Bob Hope Special,” “The Don Rickles Show,” “Kraft Music Hall: Roast for Johnny Carson,” “Red,” “Johnny Carson Special: The Sun City Scandals,” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” “The Phil Donahue Show,” “The Dinah Shore Show,” “The David Frost Show,” “Tomorrow,” “Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon,” “The Dick Cavett Show,” “Dean Martin’s Man of the Week Celebrity Roast,” “Breakfast in Beverly Hills,” “Life’s Most Embarrassing Moments,” “The Merv Griffin Show,” “Late Night With David Letterman,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes,” “Star Search,” “Night Court.”

Film appearances:

“Looking For Love” (1964)

“Cancel My Reservation” (1972)