When it came to interactions, Johnny Carson was equally comfortable interacting with humans as well as animals. There are tons of videos of his having four-legged guests on the stage, and some of them are truly hilarious. I guess he enjoyed their innocence when they were up there with him. This time, we see a clip from “The Tonight Show” archives. This time, he’s not interacting with human guests, but two primates.
A woman brings on two orangutans onto the show. One is a baby named Oliver and the other is an older one named Jonathan. She hands Oliver over to Carson and the little guy just clenches up. Can’t really blame him – he’s a baby and he’s under all these lights and in front of an audience. Their mommy tries to tickle Jonathan, but it’s pretty much a no-go. Both of them seem to have been hit with stage fright. Such are the risks with animals on television.
Carson, bless his heart, could rescue even the most moribund guest appearance. Oliver not doing much? Johnny can mug for the camera with the best of them! I wonder how he reacted once the lights went dark and the audience left. Rumor was that he could be a very difficult taskmaster, to put it mildly.
One thing that irritated a lot of people was that the person controlling the Carson YouTube account kept calling it a gorilla orangutan in the descriptions. They are two completely different species. A gorilla is a gorilla and an orangutan is an orangutan. Thank you. I’ll get off my soapbox right now. Also there were people up at arms about how the orangutans were being mistreated because they had to wear clothes. Humor was very different then.
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