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Carson, Johnnylocked

(23 October 1925–23 January 2005)
  • Richard Harmond

Extract

Carson, Johnny (23 October 1925–23 January 2005), comedian and television host of the hugely popular The Tonight Show, comedian and television host of the hugely popular The Tonight Show, was born in Corning, Iowa, the son of Homer Carson, a lineman with a local power company, and Ruth Hook. Homer moved about, seeking and finding better positions in the utilities industry. The Carson family moved to Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1933, where Homer became a manager of the Iowa-Nebraska Electric Light and Power Company. The Carsons lived on the good side of town and experienced little of the deprivations of the Great Depression. And so when Johnny, in 1937, wanted to send to Chicago for a magic kit, the money was forthcoming. He became fascinated with magic and practiced card and other tricks for hours before a mirror. He gave magic shows at his mother's bridge club and at high school assemblies. Johnny was fourteen when, as the “Great Carsoni,” he gave his first professional performance before the Norfolk Rotary Club. He was paid three dollars....

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