On the 28th anniversary of Johnny Carson’s final “Tonight Show,” let’s look back at the time he allowed Mike Wallace to profile him for “60 Minutes” in 1979.
Wallace got Carson to open up about his problems with alcohol and tobacco, how his competitive nature hurt his personal life, and other issues. He also convinced the former amateur magician to do a card trick that was not included in the original broadcast — but the segment was restored when TV Land re-aired it in 2002, along with new voiceovers by Wallace.
It’s important to remember that none of this was truly spontaneous — including the drumming and newspaper-reading. Carson was enough of a veteran entertainer to know that the CBS cameras were on him and how to act accordingly.