Posted ByGerry O. on August 15, 2002 at 13:02:55:
In Reply to: Re: Jack Leno and Fred Letterman posted byLL on August 15, 2002 at 12:21:23:
Yes, I do agree with you that Johnny Carson demonstrated more of Jack's comedy style than Jay Leno does.
The reason that I didn't mention Johnny is that it's pretty much common knowledge that he WAS very influenced by Jack. In fact, Johnny himself has always been the first person to admit that. He once said that whenever he watches old video footage of himself (from the 1950's and early 60's), he CRINGES at how many of Jack's mannerisms he was doing...and he's right! I have some videos of early CBS variety shows that Carson hosted (from around 1955), and it almost looks like he's TRYING to imitate Jack!
I brought Jay Leno into this comparison because among today's talk-show hosts, Leno seems to be more "benign" and less caustic than David Letterman (much the same way that Jack's style of comedy was considered more "benign" than the acid wit of Fred Allen)....and as you've mentioned, Letterman's Fred Allen-type attitude has really BLOOMED over the past ten years!