Johnny Carson Ain’t Care

For as charismatic and beloved as he was as a late-night talk show host, Johnny Carson was famously prickly off-camera. There are lots of stories about him being difficult to work with, and once he retired from his gig at “The Tonight Show,” he more or less completely withdrew from the public eye (save an appearance here and there on “Letterman”). So it should come as little surprise that when a documentarian tried to contact him about participating in a film about his life, Johnny wanted no part of it. From Deadline:

The doc’s writer-producer-director Peter Jones confirmed that he had been pursuing Carson in letters from the time he famously retired from Tonight in 1992 to participate in a doc on his life, but he never received so much as a response. “Then one day in 2002 I got a call and heard, ‘Johnny Carson’s on Line 2,’ and I thought it was a joke. But it was really Johnny. He said to me, ‘Peter, you write a very good letter. I know you want me to participate in this, but I won’t be doing anything about my life because you know what? I don’t give a sh-t. … I’ve done everything I want to do and said everything I want to say. There is nothing more.’ And that was that.”

I don’t know why, but I love this story. The idea that this guy had been trying to contact Carson for 10 years (TEN YEARS) without so much as a peep from Johnny, and then Carson called him up one day and was like “Yeah, nice letters. Scram”… it’s just such a ridiculously over the top a-hole move that I have to respect him for it. The man was a walking “Deal With It” GIF.