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John Price
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 7:59pm | IP Logged | 1  

I was recently watching an old episode of the Tonight Show, and when Johnny came out he was holding what looked like a pair of old 3-D glasses. He then went on to say how this "junk" was made by Jack Kirby "King of comics." Johnny then went off saying who the hell is Jack Kirby and how dare he call himself the "King of Comics" as neither Johnny nor Ed had ever heard of him. Well it was obvious that Johnny had mistaken the word comics to mean comedian rather than comic book. But even so I was still surprised at the insults Johnny hurled Jack's way. Did anyone else ever see that old episode?
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Bob Simko
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 2  

I thought this came up here a long time ago?

Short answer..yep, it's been mentioned.

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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:14pm | IP Logged | 3  

Never watched it. But I bet I can add a bit to the tale. Or at least Mark Evanier can. Here's a tale on his site(Which everyone here should check out regularily) that may shed some light:

"On one show a few years ago, Johnny inadvertently said some unkind things about one of my closest friends. The details are immaterial except to say that Johnny had his facts mixed-up and didn't know what he was talking about...and my friend was deeply, deeply hurt by the incident.

I phoned up Fred deCordova and explained the situation. He instantly agreed that a large apology was warranted and he told me that if I wrote a letter giving the facts, he would guarantee that Carson would apologize on the air. I did and, as advertised, Johnny did a long and gracious retraction at the earliest opportunity. It was so sincere, in fact, that several former Tonight Show staffers, including the gent I quoted up topside, phoned me to ask how I had arranged it. Did I have photos of Johnny with an underage goat or something?

Three weeks later, I was walking through the NBC complex, passing Carson's parking space that is, sad to say, the high point of the NBC Studio Tour. Suddenly, a two-seater Mercedes pulled into it, the driver's seat occupied by J. Carson. Guards were scurrying out to escort him but I was between them and him and at that moment, it didn't dawn on me that I was committing any felony by stepping up to Johnny, introducing myself and thanking him for the prompt and civil apology. So I did.

My back was to the guards but I could tell that they were in a high state of alarm. Someone is approaching Mr. Carson! They may even have gone for their guns. Johnny waved them away and stood there with me, his arms full of papers and folders, chatting for maybe five minutes. He seemed genuinely thankful that I had gotten the correction in so promptly and without a lot of litigation threatened. He even laughed when I said, "Well, I thought you could do with a few less lawyers in your life." I recall thinking it was one of those Bizarro World moments: Me making Johnny Carson laugh.

I was delighted he was so polite because, just as I wouldn't have wanted my Tonight Show watching dampened by an unhappy experience on staff, I wouldn't have wanted it despoiled by an ugly encounter with Carson. I'm sure he is capable of incivility. I'm just pleased I didn't see it.

He shook my hand and thanked me again. And then he went in to do his show. And I went home to watch it."

Here's the link. Nothing more about it. But just for accuracy sake. http://www.povonline.com/Showbiz2.htm
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John Price
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:24pm | IP Logged | 4  

Well I'm glad that it was cleared up. I only saw that one old episode and didn't know Johnny had made amends.
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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 11 January 2006 at 8:27pm | IP Logged | 5  

I didn't know it was Jack Kirby until you posted this. I never really looked into it. I'd read the story awhile back and just kind of left it on the back burner of my brain (say that five times fast). An odd little incident for sure.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 9:10am | IP Logged | 6  

I've never heard about this. Thanks for the info, guys.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 10:09am | IP Logged | 7  

I wonder if Kirby was really upset about this, or if that's just embroidery on the legend. I can't imagine why he would have been, after all. It was an honest mistake on Carson's part -- he thought he was going after some unknown standup comedian who was getting above himself. Kirby would have seen that.

A little reminder, however, of how small this industry is, in the greater scheme of things.

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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 8  

"A little reminder, however, of how small this industry is, in the
greater scheme of things. "

Good point, JB. Brings up an interesting question: how many
times have you been recognized and approached by comic
fans outside of a comic con or other comic-related event?
Does this happen very often? Ever?

Stan Lee almost certainly has the largest mainstream
recognition of any comic-related celebrity and I bet there are
lots of places he can go and not be recognized. Although I
think the success of the movies has made Stan Lee more of a
"household name" than ever....I bet people don't recognize his
face but then they see him sign his name or something and
then say, "Hey aren't you that Spider-Man guy?" Just my
speculation of course....
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 9  

how many times have you been recognized and approached by comic fans outside of a comic con or other comic-related event?

****

Six. Three white guys, three black. I have wondered from time to time what that might tell us about the demographics of the audience.

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Guest79877180
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 10  

JB - "Six. Three white guys, three black. I have wondered from time to time what that might tell us about the demographics of the audience."
~~~~~
And NO women...
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Rob Hewitt
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 11  

Wonder how JC even heard of "The King of comics" label.
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John Price
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Posted: 12 January 2006 at 5:44pm | IP Logged | 12  

It was printed on the 3-D glasses.
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Jeff Sharpe
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Posted: 14 January 2006 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 13  

These are the glasses. Printed on the inside left is: "COLLECTOR'S GLASSES
designed by JACK KIRBY "King of the Comics"

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Gail Simone
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Posted: 14 January 2006 at 7:46pm | IP Logged | 14  

The Amazing Randi had some very cool things to say about Johnny Carson's support for skeptical causes and dislike of fakers creeps like Uri Gellar in a recent issue of Skeptic Magazine. Made me like the guy all the more.


Gail

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Wayne Osborne
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Posted: 14 January 2006 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 15  

But now that I see the glasses, I'm thinking "how dumb is Carson not
to get what kind of comics they're talking about?"

WO
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 January 2006 at 6:27am | IP Logged | 16  

Not dumb at all, Wayne. No more than I should be
considered "dumb" if I reveal an ignorance about
stamp collecting.

Comics have been a niche
market for a long, long time, now. Factor in, too, that
even if Carson read comics as a kid he probably
thought as most civilians tended to, that he stopped
reading because comics went away. I cannot
count the number of people my age and older who I
have met over the years who, when told what I do for
a living, showed great surprise. "Those are still
being published?"

Johnny Carson worked in an
industry in which "comic" has a very specific and
much more prominent definition than what
springs immediately to our minds. For him to think
of that kind of "comic" before thinking of comic books
-- which, additionally, would likely be the term that
would be most familiar to him -- is not "dumb" at all.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 15 January 2006 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 17  

I still have to wonder, though, how Carson missed the picture of the monster shooting eye-beams on the side of the glasses.

In his favor, though, is the actual wording on the glasses: "King of the Comics." Notice, it reads "the Comics," not simply "Comics." I could see that confusing things.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 January 2006 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 18  

I still have to wonder, though, how Carson missed the picture of the monster shooting eye-beams on the side of the glasses.

****

Forest, meet Trees. We look at those images and see comicbook art. A civilian looks at the same images and sees goofy stuff.

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Kurt Anderson
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Posted: 15 January 2006 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 19  

If someone says, "comic" to us, we think of DC, Marvel, etc.

If someone said , "comic" to Carson, he probably would've thought of Buddy Hackett or Shecky Greene.

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