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Johnny Carson: Ronald Reagan’s Funny Return to California: January 4, 1989

October 12, 2015

Johnny Carson

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Johnny Carson: Ronald Reagan’s Funny Return to California: January 4, 1989

I think Johnny’s best line here was about President Reagan reaching a deal with Random House to write his presidential memoirs and getting a big advance for it. If you’re familiar with Ron Reagan’s second presidential term and I am even though I was a kid for his entire presidency and had just started junior high when he left office, you know that President Reagan claimed to not remember a lot of key parts of his second term. Iran Contra, being a perfect example of that and claiming if he didn’t know if he had agreed to the arms for hostages deal in 1985-86. And his own Vice President, his first officer in his administration, a man who was a very active and responsible VP who was in on everything that the President did, George H.W. Bush, claiming to know nothing about Iran Contra. Even though he was at all the meetings.

Johnny’s joke being that, “funny how a big advance from Random House to write your memoirs can jumpstart your memory.” In this case the memory about Iran Contra and a lot of the key moments of his second term as president. There are only a few ways this could have gone down. President Reagan, came down with Alzheimer’s as President of the United States and that is why he forgot so much about his presidency even as President. And if you believe that I have a ski resort in Los Angeles where they get the best snow that I would like to sell you. President Reagan, was too much of a delegator and not on top of things that were going on at his National Security Council. Which is very believable. Or of course he knew what was going on the whole time and didn’t want Congress to know about arms being traded for hostages in Iran. Because he didn’t want to get into trouble for it. Which is also very believable.

A good line Johnny had about Vice President Elect Dan Quayle, who of course was President George H.W. Bush’s Vice President. Dan Quayle, was a young U.S. Senator who had only been in Congress for less than twelve years between both the House and Senate by the time Vice President Bush selected him in 1988 and didn’t have much a resume before Congress and was 41 at the time, was viewed at the very least by the national media to be not ready and immature and not real bright. He got a bad wrap as being known as an idiot and perhaps immature, but he didn’t do much as Vice President to show anyone outside of him that he was up for the second ranking position in the U.S. Government. And Johnny making the crack that Ron Reagan will be having dinner with talk show Merv Griffin. While he will be having finger food at Jack in The Box. (A California fast food joint)

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