When you sat in the Tonight Show audience for the first time, the first thing you noticed was that everything looked so much smaller than it did on TV; the desk, the guest seating, and especially that curtain from behind which Johnny Carson and his guests would emerge, night after night for three decades.
The set might have seemed smaller in person, but Johnny Carson’s televsion career will and should always be remembered as being larger than life.
I came of age during the Letterman generation, but Carson wore his television royalty like no one else. If you really want to get a perpespective on Carson’s career, try to get a peak at Bette Midler’s tribute to him on the penultimate night of his Tonight Show run. It was one of the greatest moments in television history and perfectly encapsulated a moment, a career and a television life.