Albany-- People who knew Johnny Carson best are remembering him as a gifted comedian who knew how to get the most from his guests on the "Tonight Show."
Albany's own Jim Fowler, who brought a parade of animals with him each time he was on the Tonight Show, has fond memories of a man who was more than a legend to him-- he was a friend.
“It's a sad day, but one of joy," Fowler said." It’s great to look at some of the clips that NBC has played. It really brought back a lot of memories."
"You know I think Johnny had a real affection for wildlife, for animals. He was real and the animals were real. I think that is one of the reason's he enjoyed that. The things that we did with Johnny. He was very nice. He was very straight with you. And he always came over and talked to me back stage. He was real."
"Years ago, somebody apparently had an animal and there was a little blood. And he didn't like that, and knock on wood; I've never had blood on him or anyone else."
"Bette Midler says singing to Johnny on his last show was the highlight of her career. Mine was taking him to Africa on safari. I don't think we are going to see too many people like Johnny. He always related to the guests in a very natural way," Fowler said.
Carson took over as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" in 1962, and continued in that role until 1992, when he was replaced by Jay Leno.