WOW. WHEN YOU WERE CARSON'S PERMANENT SUB, IT WAS LIKE A SPECIAL NIGHT IN MY HOUSE. MY SISTER AND I WOULD LAY ON MY PARENTS BED WITH THEM AND BE ALLOWED TO STAY UP LATE AND WATCH THE WHOLE SHOW. BESIDES HOW IT ENDED, WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM THAT TIME?
I remember how hard it was, and this is so sad, you don't remember the good times! I remember there was a fight every minute, they wouldn't give me the guests, they would keep them for Johnny, which I understood. So we had to come up with people -- I was the first to put Cher on, I was the first to put Elton John on, and Lily Tomlin, and we began to look for alternatives. It was wonderful at first because our shows were younger and smarter. I mean, anybody that does a talk show gets into a comfortable rut: "Why should we go with this new kid, Chris Rock, when you've got Don Rickles here?!" So we had to find the Chris Rocks and all the new ones, which was exciting.
WHO WERE YOUR FAVORITE TONIGHT SHOW GUESTS OF THAT ERA?
Anybody funny. Richard Pryor. Any comic that came on. There are two kinds of hosts, the hosts that don't want the guest to top them (and I'm not gonna name names) and the hosts who will lean back and say, "Go for it." And Carson was one of those who said "go for it" by the way, he was very generous to comics -- if you can give me 15 great minutes, honey, you're on!
FROM THAT AND YOUR LATE NIGHT SHOW AND DAYTIME SHOW, WHO WERE HORRIBLE GUESTS
The ones that came out of the studio system -- ugh -- Lana Turner. Not one word came out of her mouth that wasn't pre-thought-out. She really stands out. Michael Landon -- a smartass.
MICHAEL LANDON? NO WAY! HE WAS BELOVED!
God should have smote him! Ugh -- nasty, rude to people backstage, horrible man! The Mel Gibson of his day!
I LOVE THE TITLE OF YOUR SHOW BY THE WAY ("BEFORE MELISSA PULLS THE PLUG").... JUST SO WE DON'T HAVE ANOTHER BROOKE ASTOR SITUATION ON OUR HANDS, WHAT HAVE YOU TOLD MELISSA ABOUT PULLING THE PLUG?
I've told Melissa, "Keep away from me, Bitch!" She's not allowed within a 100 feet of me -- she's the Ron Galella of my life and there is a court order now that she can't give me any more than exploding firecrackers!
LET'S PLAY WORD ASSOCIATION -- I GIVE YOU A PERSON AND YOU TELL ME THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF: PARIS HILTON
My Halloween costume this year -- I'm going with my dress over my head!
Meanest white man in the history of America.
HILARIOUS people don't know how funny he is.
It's time to come and sit in the shade next to me. Put down the feathers.