On “The Tonight Show,” Johnny Carson had several terrific recurrent characters. Carnac the Magnificent is perhaps the most renowned. The persona was a “Mystic from the East,” who could obtain unknown solutions to unseen inquiries psychically.
Since the figure first emerged in 1964, everyone has enjoyed the routine. Ed McMahon introduces Carnac, who steps out on stage and trips on the first step, in this 1986 show.
During the introduction, Ed cracks a few jokes, but the real danger begins when Johnny notices his answer sheet is missing from his desk. He hurriedly whispers to Ed, and they take a commercial break as the two guys laugh.
He begins by answering, “Born in the USA,” before revealing the question, “What song has a California lottery winner never sung?” “Dust, spare coins, and Howard Cosell,” Carnac continued in his psychological reaction. He asks, “Name three items discovered under a rug!”
Carnac resumes “Superbowl” and asks, “What do you name a toilet with see-through walls?” Ed McMahon chuckles loudly. Carnac then says, “Yoko Ono,” followed by, “How would you order one egg in Japan?”
Carnac gets the crowd chuckling as he anticipates “Whoopi Goldberg” and asks, “What do you call a novelty cushion in Israel?” Carnac then says, “Abcdefghijkl.” He opens the envelope and asks, “Describe the sound of someone choking on alphabet soup.”
Every time Carnac appeared on “The Tonight Show,” Johnny and Ed had a terrific time together. One of the funniest late-night personalities in TV history is the faux psychic from the East.