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Johnny Carson, Poker Player

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 29th January 2005 5:31pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


There were only a few places where Johnny Carson let his hair down. The poker table was one of them.

Mr. Carson's notorious off-screen reserve dissipated during the monthly poker games that the film producer Daniel Melnick held for years at his house in the Hollywood Hills. The regulars included a panoply of well-known names, like Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Chevy Chase, Carl Reiner and Barry Diller.

"In our game we all became adolescents," Mr. Melnick, who had known Mr. Carson since their early days in television in New York, said in an interview this week, after receiving news of the former "Tonight" show host's death on Sunday.

"There was a lot of kibitzing, a lot of laughing," Mr. Melnick said. "We were a little more raucous than we'd be under other conditions."



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