‘I wish a little of that would rub off on me’

I just got through watching the “American Masters” episode about Johnny Carson, and it was terrific – funny, and moving, and revealing. It’s available to watch online, and if you missed it over the air it would be well worth watching it that way.

They showed a very brief snippet of Johnny’s last TV appearance, which I recall as clearly as if it were yesterday.

Johnny, of course, is widely believed to have thought David Letterman, not Jay Leno, his ideal successor. What is certain is that he never appeared with Leno after retiring.

Anyway, a year or so after Letterman moved to CBS, he did a week of shows from Los Angeles. There was a running gag that week where Dave would introduce some hugely famous celebrity who was supposed to be bringing out the Top Ten list. Each night it would really be Calvert DeForest (a/k/a Larry “Bud” Melman), although the on-screen graphic would display “CLINT EASTWOOD” or “BARBRA STREISAND” or what have you. Calvert would claim to be that person, but obviously would make no effort to actually look, act or talk like that person.

This went on for four nights. On the fifth night, Friday, this happened:

So glad we had this time together

I almost didn’t watch “American Masters” tonight because I’d seen so many retrospectives of “The Carol Burnett Show” that I wasn’t sure what new they could bring to it and I was scared it would dwell too much on private pathos.

But “Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character” was a terrific 90 minutes of television, and partly to blame for my not catching completely up to my NaNoWriMo goal tonight. It was insightful, had a perfect mix of clips, interviews and background material, and was just thoroughly well-presented, as I should have known based on “American Masters”‘ track record.

(I have made some NaNoWriMo progress — quite a bit, in fact. I just haven’t caught up completely. I’ll post about that in a little bit, after I try to write a few more pages.)