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Was Johnny Carson an Eclipse Chaser?

Eclipse
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#1 Exeligmos

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 03:03 AM

(This was originally posted in the 'North American Total Solar Eclipse 2017' forum...)

 

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I've heard that Johnny Carson was an amateur astronomer. He has posed for photos with some of his toys:

 

post-280120-0-44004000-1507951490.jpg

 

post-280120-0-14604300-1507951545.jpg

 

Not to mention that Carl Sagan was a frequent guest on his show.

 

On a whim, I checked a list of Tonight Show episode list on Wikipedia to see if he was absent during the 1979 eclipse. Sure enough, he was. I then checked out the other eclipse dates, he was absent on as many as 20 out of 23 eclipse days. At times, the day would fall on a weekend, and he'd be absent on a Monday or Friday. Other times, he'd be gone for a few weeks. Early on, the eclipse would fall on a weekend, but there was no guest host.

 

The number of times he took off seems to be more than coincidence. If he was a chaser, it would be interesting to read about his adventures.

 

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FWIW, here is the full list of total eclipses (and 1984 annular) during the duration of his Tonight Show tenure:

 

1963 - Canada, Maine, Saturday
1965 - Pacific, Sunday, guest host Monday
1966 - South America, Saturday
1967 - Antarctic Atlantic, Thursday, guest host 3 weeks
1968 - USSR, Sunday, guest host Monday
1970 - Mexico-USA, Saturday, guest host Friday
1972 - Canada, Monday, guest host 1 week
1973 - Africa, Saturday, guest host 2 weeks
1974 - South of Australia, Thursday, guest host 2 weeks
1976 - Africa-Australia, Saturday, guest hosts 2 weeks
1977 - Pacific-South America, Wednesday, (Johnny present on show)
1979 - USA-Canada, Monday, guest host Monday
1980 - Africa, Saturday, guest host Monday
1981 - USSR, Friday, (Johnny present on show)
1983 - Indonesia, Saturday, (no guest host b/a)
1984 - Mexico-USA (annular), Wednesday, guest host 1 week
1984 - Pacific, mid-week, (Johnny present on show)
1985 - Antarctic Pacific, early-week, guest host 1 day
1986 - North Atlantic (brief hybrid/annular), late-week, guest host 1 day
1987 - Atlantic (brief hybrid), weekend?, no show scheduled?
1988 - (incomplete schedule)
1990 - Siberia, weekend?, guest host 1 day
1991 - Mexico, late-week, guest host 1 month

 

(Shown are the year, location, date of eclipse, and duration of guest hosts around that date.)


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#2 bladerunner6

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Posted 27 April 2024 - 10:29 PM

I would be shocked if he didn’t see at least some of those eclipses.  His interest in astronomy is pretty well documented.  
 

He also had John Dobson on the show.


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