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Carson denies using a laugh track

May 17, 2003|Lee Margulies

Johnny Carson has kept a low profile since retiring from "The Tonight Show" 11 years ago this month, but he made a rare public appearance Friday, on the letters page of the Wall Street Journal.

The former king of late-night TV wrote in to take issue with an article that said "The Tonight Show" had used canned laughter. Not so during his 30-year tenure on the NBC show, Carson said.

"I don't mean to sound peevish," he concluded, "but I wouldn't want peoples' memories of 'The Tonight Show' to be dimmed because they believed the laughter they heard wasn't genuine, but that we faked it. We didn't!"

-- Lee Margulies

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