Think of Carson and the picture that comes into focus is that of a debonair man in his mid-forties, in well-fitting sports jacket and tie and pressed slacks--the kind of dress that upper-middle-class men used to wear to dinner parties until the seventies, when there was at least a little formality at almost every occasion except a barbeque. He represented a world, and a time of day, that had nothing to do with children, and if you were quite young when you first watched him that made him even more glamorous and mysterious--much as adulthood itself was glamorous and mysterious. That the grownup life exemplified by Carson was in large part phony (one discovered upon reaching it), a construct of television entertainment itself, simply added to its desirability.
Johnny Carson was a legend in his own time. It follows, then, that the myths that surrounded him in life are accumulating in death. For example, it's been reported that he once gave a monologue that started like this:
To me, democracy means placing trust in the little guy, giving the fruits of nationhood to those who built the nation. . . .
Carson on democracy, seriously? That's another urban legend, isn't it? See for yourself.