Johnny Carson, needed to be careful about having people like Hollywood Goddess Dyan Cannon on his show. Because she was probably as quick as he was off the cuff with the humor, or at least in the same ballpark. Who didn’t need a script to crack joke and even do monologue. And as good as Johnny was at poking fun at famous people and he might be the best comedian ever at doing this, he wasn’t exactly flawless. I mean he was basically the male Liz Taylor when it came to married life. Both when it came to his multiple marriages and divorces. He could write a book literally based on his personal experiences in life of what not to do when it came to married life. And Dyan knew these things and knew him very well.
Late night comedic hosts have to draw a line about who they pick fun at when they have guests on. I mean if they have people on who are experts at screwing up, sure! Making fun of them would be easy, especially if they don’t know how to punch back, or even screw that up. But not many people would want to see that. But if they on quick-witted people like a Dyan Cannon who knows the host well and has had her issues in life that could be poked fun at like her multiple marriages and divorces, but can give it back as well then they’ll end up taking clean shots on their own show. And perhaps even be put on the defensive. Johnny Carson, whether they were standup comedians, or not and Dyan’s case, more of a comedic actress with a quick off the cuff humor and great ability to improvise, loved funny people. Which is why having Dyan on his show worked so well.
Johnny, also liked intelligent people and intelligent people who were funny. Frank Sinatra comes to mind, Burt Reynolds would be another one and Dyan Cannon would be close to, or at the top of this list. He would mention things to talk about and generally what was going on in Dyan’s life and what she’s interested in and they would simply talk about like two people who knew each other very well. With no script and would do it in a very funny way that would keep the audience interested and laughing. And even have Dyan with her adorable laugh laughing her head off for most of the interview which is what you see here. Dyan Cannon, was the perfect guest for Johnny Carson, because she kept him on his toes and made him think.