Johnny Carson’s Mother Never Laughed at His Jokes

Comedians are notoriously wounded creatures, often seeking approval in whatever form they can get it, and Johnny Carson was no different. Sure, he represents the ne plus ultra of a certain generation of comics, but that didn’t absolve him of the sad, strange burden of maternal indifference. American Masters Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, which airs on PBS Monday May 14, explores this and other aspects of Carson’s life and career, and you’ll get a sense of his mother’s unsmiling influence in this advanced clip. Heeeeere’s Johnny’s lingering insecurities …

Johnny Carson’s Mother Never Laughed at Him