- Many years ago, when I was a lot younger, Johnny Carson ruled
the late-night airwaves. He was a lot younger too.
Ed McMahon was Johnnys erstwhile sidekick, and my niece
Cookie (who prefers to be called by her given name Corinne) was
Eds assistant. I used to travel to Los Angeles once or
twice a year to visit some friends and Cookie. I was staying
with my friend Ilse, whom I know since college days in New York,
and Cookie invited us to see the Johnny Carson show, which was
taped in the afternoon.
We were ushered into the studio and given seats in the VIP section.
While waiting for the show to begin, Ilse and I struck up a conversation
with some young ladies sitting next to us. They were about 18-20
years old and very excited to be there.
After a while, out came the producer to warm up the audience.
He told some jokes and some stories. You know how the late-night
audiences are - they stomp their feet and hoot and holler. Next
came Ed McMahon whose task it was to keep the audience worked
up. He told the crowd that a very important guest was in the
audience - his assistants Aunt Charlotte. He asked me to
stand up and take a bow and wave, which I did. (Im not
at all bashful.) The audience responded by clapping, stomping,
hooting and hollering. I felt a rush and was ready to find an
agent and move to Hollywood right then and there!
When I sat down, the two young ladies we had been chatting with
turned to me all agog. One of them said to me, "We didnt
know you were Eds Aunt Charlotte. Why didnt you tell
Well, at that point, my bubble burst and I came down off Cloud
Nine. I gave up my dreams of a Hollywood career, which of course
included starring with Paul Newman and Kevin Costner. But I had
my 15 minutes of fame that day and I just loved it!