It must be my world class head cold but I am feeling a little cranky about the celebrity culture at the moment. We are hyperbolically saying good bye to Johnny Carson.
Stanley of the Times appears both to criticize and participate in the trend:
Mr. Carson, whose death on Jan. 23 was treated in newscasts with the same consequence as a major space launch or a presidential address, was a little like John F. Kennedy or Toscanini: a matchless exemplar who spawned legions of irritating imitations.
“Matchless exemplar? I remember thinking that Johnny Carson wasnt very bright or very well informed. He used to say “I did not know that as if there was something winning or clever about not have a clue.
If there was one person who made it “ok to conduct oneself in mid-century American conversation with not a whit of wit or knowledge, it was Johnny Carson. If there is one person responsible for the fact that no one on late night television can conduct an interview to save their lives, its Johnny Carson.
And thats a lot to answer for. Carson was an important creator of contemporary culture, let us give him that. But he was not without flaws and these live on.
Stanley, Alessandra. 2005. Carsons Long Late-Night Shadow. New York Times. February 2, 2005, p. E1, E10.