1970sComediansComedyComedy SkitsEntertainersHumor

Comedy – 1978 – The Johnny Carson Show – With Psychic Carnac The Magnificent and Actor Dom DeLuise

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson is an American talk show hosted by Johnny Carson under the Tonight Show franchise from October 1, 1962 through May 22, 1992. 

It originally aired during late-night….and for its first decade was based at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, with some episodes recorded at NBC-TV’s West Coast studios in Burbank, California….then on May 1, 1972, the show moved to Burbank as its main venue and remained there exclusively after May 1973 until Carson’s retirement.  In 2002, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was ranked # 12 on TV Guides 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time….and in 2013 it was ranked # 22 on their list of 60 Best Series. 

This episode of the Tonight Show features Carmac the Magnificent ….as sidekick Ed McMahon feed the Magnificent One multiple questions…..while the 2nd part features Dom Deluise as Johnny’s special  guest for the evening. 

Dom DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer, chef and author….who was the husband of actress Carol Arthur….and the father of actor, director, pianist, and writer Peter DeLuise….and actors David DeLuise and Michael DeLuise.  He starred in a number of movies directed by Mel Brooks…..in a series of films with career-long best friend Burt Reynolds…..and as a voice actor in various animated films by Don Bluth.

Carnac the Magnificent, in which Carson played a psychic….who uses clairvoyance the answer to a question contained in a sealed envelope….which was to some degree a variation on Steve Allen’s recurring “The Question Man” sketch. The answer was always an outrageous pun…..as evidenced by the following: 

  • “Debate” … “What do you use to catch de fish?”

  • “Baja” … “What sound does a sheep make when it laughs?”

  • “Ben-Gay” … “Why didn’t Mrs. Franklin have any kids?”

  • “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou” … “Name three things that have yeast.”

  • “Three Dog Night” … “What’s a bad night for a tree?”

  • “Mount Baldy” … “What did Yul Brynner’s wife do on their wedding night?”

  • “Sis boom bah” … “Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.” ….which was Ed McMahon’s personal favorite.

If the laughter fell short when a line bombed…..as it often did….“Carnac” would face the audience with mock seriousness and bestow a comic curse like “May a diseased yak befriend your sister!” or “May a rabid holy man bless your nether regions with a power tool!”

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