Johnny Carson had a remarkable career and a long run with the Tonight Show. He had many wonderful recurring gags, skits, and lots of fun guests as well. One of his memorable characters was Carnac The Magnificent.
He started the act in 1964 and was popular all the way to the end of the show. Carson would come out in a large feathered turban and cape with Indian music being played by the band. He would turn towards the desk and would always stumble. Now there was one occasion where they replaced the desk with one made of Balsa wood. This allowed Carson to stumble and fall through the desk! It became favorite to be shown on anniversary shows.
The act was a simple one. He would take a letter handed to him, divine the answer with his “mystical” powers, and then open the envelope which contained the question. As always, there was a one that did not get great applause. For that he would utter a type of curse like “may a sick hippopotamus blow bubbles in your hot tub.”
Here is one classic from 1975 that shows Carson as Carnac the Magnificent in all its glory. Enjoy.