Tag Archives: comedy sketches

Comedy Break: Carnac the Magnificent

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.

Wayback Machine: George Carlin “Hippy Dippy Weatherman” on the Tonight Show

George Carlin had a long career as a stand up comedian. He was genuinely funny and consistently delivered hysterical laughter.  One of his early schticks was the Hippy Dippy Weatherman. It was hilarious how he did it. Here he his back in 1966 doing it on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Carson liked Carlin a lot and it shows here. Enjoy.


Friday Funny: Abbott & Costello

Perhaps one of the funniest sketches of all time is Abbott & Costello’s Who’s On First? Even if you do not like baseball, you have to laugh. Abbott & Costello performed it both on radio and television to great acclaim. While the routine was copyrighted, they never performed it quite the same way each time.  Sometimes the names or nicknames of real players were tossed in or referenced. A gold record of the sketch is at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Time magazine in 1999 named it the Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th century. There have been other imitators, of course, some done to parody the sketch. The original though still is the best. And whether performed on radio or television never failed to entertain.