Monday, January 24, 2005


One of Johnny Carson's best on-stage moments had a strong Jewish flavor.

The Setup: Actor Ames, a genial guy who played Indian Mingo on TV's Daniel Boone, agrees to demonstrate his tomahawk-throwing skills. Presented with a life-size wooden board, complete with cowboy silhouette, Ames settles himself about 10 feet away, readies the weapon and lets it fly.

The Punchline: In a you-couldn't-have-scripted-it-better-if-you'd-tried moment, the ax lands squarely in the cowboy's crotch and stands at attention like a 14-year-old boy seeing Porky's for the first time. Carson grabs Ames by the arm to keep him from removing the tomahawk, and lets the moment stand--almost a full minute of laughter follows--and then ripostes, "I didn't even know you were Jewish." More laughs. Then adds, "Welcome to frontier bris." Howls of hysteria. Ames asks Johnny if he wanted to try throwing it. "Well," said the host, "I can't hurt him any more than you did."

See it: Click here: It's in the middle of Clip One. (Although this page is a thinly-veiled advertisement for home videos from the classic late-night TV series' 30-year run, three good montage packages are available for free online viewing.)