February 28, 2005 12:00 PM


I wasn’t born when Johnny Carson debuted on The Tonight Show in 1962, but by the mid-’70s, when I was just a child, I remember sneaking up to watch him. By the ’80s, not only did I feel I had a new close friend, I also knew that I was watching a master at work. Johnny made it look easy. Whether delivering a fresh and funny monologue, chatting with Sinatra and Lucy, creating hysterics with Joan Embery’s animals or discovering the next Seinfeld, Johnny had class, charisma and impeccable timing.

Gary Rosen

Fort Lee, N.J.

Thank you for the touching and in-depth look at the life of Johnny Carson. He truly set the standard for late-night hosts. His passing also marked the end of an era for many Americans. Unlike most celebrities, he was secure enough to bow out gracefully. Thanks for a memorable tribute and one that’s worth saving.

Susan McDonald Lenihan

Chicago, III.

I had a very unstable life growing up, but for an hour each night I could forget all about it, thanks to Johnny Carson. When his DVD collection came out, I bought it and watched with my two kids. I wanted them to know who Johnny Carson was and how great he really was. And as his life brought so much happiness and laughter to my life, his death has brought tears and sadness. His death has affected me like the passing of a wonderful friend. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for him. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children.

Denise Booth

Sacramento, Calif.

Johnny Carson was a legend, and he seemed to be a down-to-earth guy who didn’t brag about his riches. Surely he deserved to be featured alone on the cover. To place him and Donald Trump with his third wife on the same cover is ludicrous. Johnny graced our homes for over 30 years. Donald’s third wedding could have taken a back seat.

Joan Peebles

West Chester, Pa.


As a schoolteacher, I thought your cover depicting the great Johnny Carson and Donald Trump was a wonderful lesson for the students to find a synonym/antonym for one of their vocabulary words this week: Class.

Julie Van Atta LeBron

Binghamton, N.Y.

Donald Trump’s wedding to Melania had great photos. That dress, the flowers, the food! They deserve the most opulent wedding their money can buy. I have to say, though, the gilt was off all that gold as soon as I turned the page and read the story on the Lost Boys and the suffering in Sudan. Put a different perspective on life itself.

Deb Sedgwick

Torrington, Conn.


Music reviewer Ralph Novak just doesn’t get it. You have to go to the Caribbean and experience the kicked-back life of Be As You Are to appreciate Kenny Chesney’s latest CD. He says, “This album goes out to anyone who lives their life in flip-flops or wishes they could.” Well, for one week out of the year we do, and for the other 51 weeks, we wish we were.

Bob and Toni Carl

Bailey, Colo.


I’m disgusted by the criticism in some of the Mailbag letters regarding the tsunami. Since when is it the duty of celebrities to pay for every crisis or sad human condition? We could all do more, but depending on Oprah, Spielberg or Sandra Bullock to come to the rescue is unreasonable and unappreciative of the support they do give. Also, it’s just downright cruel to wish eternal guilt on a mother for a split-second decision none of us would want to face (Which Child to Save?). These letters that were printed are awful and hateful, and someone should take away their writers’ postage stamps!

Mary Reiff

Fair Oaks, Calif.

It can only be said one way: a wonderful entertainer. A wonderful tribute. Good night, Johnny.

Linda K. Pletz,

Shelby Township, Mich.

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