Johnny Carson chauffeured me in a Mercedes 500 Limousine, borrowed from Ed Brown, Don Ho's manager..

Johnny Carson
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1959 Phantom V, Rolls Royce Limousine

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Johnny Carson
October 23, 1925 - January 23, 2005
Born: Corning, Iowa 
Died: Malibu (Los Angeles,) California (emphysema)

During the early 70's I was the artist relations person for Marquee Enterprises, who owned theaters in Chicago, Florida, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I first worked for them at the Circle Star Theatre in San Francisco. When they bought the Valley Music Theatre in Woodland Hills, a city near LA, I relocated to Hollywood.

Hollywood was not new to me. I knew people from New York and Miami, who had relocated to Hollywood. Through those friends, who were musicians, song writers, actors, and performers, I met many personalities, such as: Richard Eagan, Shelly Winters, Ed McMahon to name a few. See the other Celebrity Pages on this site for others. Sarah Vaughan, who I knew from New York, had moved out to Beverly Hills, so I was frequently in LA, prior to moving there.

I had been backstage at the Tonight Show and the Merv Griffen Show with various people during that time. Once with Shelly Winters, several times with Monti Rock III, and once with Sy Kramer, then with several of the acts who appeared at The Circle Star Theatre and the Valley Music Theatre.

Marquee gave me a 1959 Rolls Royce, Phantom V limo to use. Most of the acts lived in or near Beverly Hills. I picked them up at their homes and drove them out to the theatre. When Johnny Carson was scheduled to appear at the Valley Music Theatre, the Rolls was in the shop for repairs. I called Ed Brown, who was Don Hoís manager, to see if his Mercedes 500 limo was available. It was a beautiful car and it drove like a speedboat on a flat calm lake.

When Johnny Carson came out of his house and he laid eyes on the Mercedes, he was very pleased. It was a beautiful piece of equipment. He asked if he could drive it to the theatre. Who says, No, to Johnny Carson. He climbed in the driverís seat and I sat next to him, although, I was tempted to sit in the back seat. When we pulled into the backstage lot, the security did a double take. He chauffeured me to and from the theatre all five nights of his run at the theater. The security used to joke with me, asking me where I found the new chauffeur.

The first night of his show, he asked me to stand in the aisle with his coat so that when came off stage, he could do a quick change for his "Deputy Dan" routine. The theater was in the round. When it was time for his change, the theater went dark as he started off of the stage. He missed the first step , there were three steps down to the floor, and he fell. I was too far back to catch him. 

While he was making his change he was groaning a little. I asked him if he was okay, he said yes, but he though he might have broken his thumb. It was in all of the papers, and he talked about it on his show.

I donít know how many people can claim that Johnny Carson chauffeured them in a Mercedes 500 Limousine. But, I know, I can.

 
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