Carson taught me the science of being funny.
1) Let your audience arrive at the joke. Don’t force it. Don’t signal it. Just deadpan at the camera and be patient.
2) This one is a combination of Buddy Hackett and Carson
Buddy: Ask me about the secret to comedy
Carson: OK. Whats the secret to come-
Buddy interrupts: Timing!
3) You see what I did? Ok, that line is from Billy Crystal. But I first learn of the theory from Johnny Carson. He was the king of leading you one direction and going another.
I watched “Johnny Carson: King of Late Night” on Netflix tonight. What a privilege it was to have had the pleasure to watch his show. It was my favorite as a child even when I didn’t get half the jokes.
I also learn from all of his characters and costumes that poking fun of someone is funny for everyone else, but poking fun of yourself is funny to everyone.