These Historic Figures Should Have Been Famous for their Weird Habits
These Historic Figures Should Have Been Famous for their Weird Habits

These Historic Figures Should Have Been Famous for their Weird Habits

Khalid Elhassan - June 22, 2022

These Historic Figures Should Have Been Famous for their Weird Habits
Johnny Carson. TV Insider

2. Johnny Carson Was in the Habit of Abusing All and Sundry

John William Carson (1925 – 2005), better known as Johnny Carson, hosted The Tonight Show on NBC for three decades from 1962 to 1992. In that stretch, he set the standard format and template that has been followed by TV chat shows ever since, including the guest couch and studio band. Carson was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, won a Peabody Award, and six Emmys. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian award – and received a Kennedy Center Honor.

Carson worked hard to cement his perception as the funny and neighborly Midwesterner, and perfected his friendly on-air persona. As a result, Americans welcomed Carson with open arms into their living rooms as the country’s favorite late-night host. However, when he was not in front of an audience, The King of Late Night Television, as Carson came to be known, was a bitter, bullying, and mean SOB. He was in the habit of abusing just about everybody and was so awful that many famous figures boycotted his show. However, they did so quietly, out of fear that he might damage their careers. Wayne Newton, as seen below, was an exception.

These Historic Figures Should Have Been Famous for their Weird Habits
Wayne Newton. Pinterest

1. The Time When Johnny Carson Got Slapped Around

While on the air, Johnny Carson was sunshine and sweetness, and the embodiment of the friendly guy you’d like to have as a neighbor. Away from the cameras, however, Carson was a total jerk who bullied and abused others and even physically assaulted people in fits of rage. Examples of Carson being a jackass include an attempt to strangle NBC colleague Tom Snyder, his refusal to visit his son who was institutionalized in a mental asylum, and his verbal and physical abuse of his wives.

Many celebrities abused by Carson stayed quiet to protect their careers from the notoriously vindictive icon. An exception was singer and actor Wayne Newton, who resented Carson’s cracking gay jokes about him on national TV. Newton thought that he and Carson were buddies, and begged him to cut it out. Carson persisted, however. So an incensed Newton barged into Carson’s office, and slapped him around silly. It wasn’t live at the Oscars, but it got Carson’s attention. It was one of the few times that the star TV host got his comeuppance. The gay jokes stopped.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Biography – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Brook, Timothy – The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties (2010)

Bushkin, Henry – Johnny Carson (2013)

Culture Trip – 11 Bizarre Things You Didn’t Know About Imelda Marcos

Empire Times Magazine, May 4th, 2015 – Tolouse-Lautrec: The working woman Authority

Encyclopedia Britannica – James Boswell, Scottish Biographer

Cracked – Old-Timey Icons With WTF Habits

Factinate – 42 Unhinged Facts About Ibrahim, the Mad Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

Guardian, The, June 13th, 2012 – James Boswell and a History of Gonorrhea

Hertfordshire Life – The Dramatic Life and Passing of Prime Minister Lord Palmerston

History Collection – 10 of the Strangest Rules and Rituals for Royal Births Over the Centuries

IMDb – King Faroukh Biography

Kinross, Lord – The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire (1977)

Las Vegas Sun, January 24th, 2005 – Carson Had Long Vegas History

Mad Monarchs – Farouk of Egypt

Massie, Robert K. – Nicholas and Alexandra: An Intimate Account of the Last of the Romanovs and the Fall of Imperial Russia (1967)

Mote, Frederick W. – Imperial China, 900-1800 ­(2003)

Museum Facts – Egypt’s King Farouk or ‘Thief of Cairo’

History Collection – Strange Obsessions Shed New Light on these Historical Figures

National Post, April 18th, 2017 – ‘I Want to Harm You, Be Brutal With You’: How Mussolini’s Last Love, Fueled by Power, Shaped Him

National Public Radio – Dining Like Darwin: When Scientists Swallow Their Subjects

New York Times, January 24th, 1995 – Nijinsky’s Notebooks Are Published, Unexpurgated

Neville, Peter – Mussolini (2004)

Radzinsky, Edvard – The Rasputin File (2000)

San Francisco Gate, February 2nd, 1995 – Nijinsky Diaries Show Dancer’s Anguish

Short, Philip – Mao: A Life (2001)

Smithsonian Magazine, December 2005 – The Evolution of Charles Darwin

Spiegel, November 26th, 2009 – In Bed With Benito: Diaries Reveal Mussolini’s Soft Side

Tea in a Teacup – James Boswell and London working women

Vice – Whatever Happened to Imelda Marcos’ 3000 Pairs of Shoes?

Week, The, November 2nd, 2017 – Osama Bin Laden’s Surprising Video Collection – From Mr. Bean to Chicken Little

Wikipedia – Poetry of Mao Zedong

Wired – Inside Bin Laden’s Files: GIFs, Memes, and Mr. Bean

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