Mark Evanier on Johnny Carson

The comic book and TV writer Mark Evanier writes News From Me, a great pop culture weblog that has been wall-to-wall Johnny Carson for days.

He appears to have found every interesting retrospective and trivial tidbit about Carson in the pro and online media, adding some of his own observations:

I met Carson three times, I think, plus he called me once on the phone after his retirement to thank me for some information I'd relayed to his secretary. He was always disarmingly gracious. People called him cold and impersonal off-camera, but I think that was a bum rap. He simply could not be friendly with all the people who wanted to be his buddy and, like many performers, coped with the onslaught by erecting fences. One of his associates told me that post-abdication, Johnny became a much happier and friendlier person because he was no longer suspicious that everyone he met was angling to get something out of him, especially a Tonight Show appearance.

In the mid-'90s, I had a great time interviewing Evanier and cartoonist Sergio Aragones at the Dallas Fantasy Fair for either Wizard Magazine or the Comics Buyer's Guide, writing about Groo and The Mighty Magnor.

Reading his weblog is a lot like that interview, except that he isn't pausing every 20-30 seconds for an adoring fan's autograph request and I'm not furiously taking notes.



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