I never dreamed that I would hear those words from back stage on the NBC Tonight Show, but on June 4, 1975, that opportunity came.
I was in Philadelphia where I had just finished taping The Mike Douglas Show, when I received final word that I was going to appear with Johnny Carson. I called home with the great news! My father answered. I said, “Dad, guess what I am going to do next.” He responded, “Tell me.” “I am going to be on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. There was dead silence on the other end and then I heard him say, “Who is Johnny Carson?” Even though my father did not know who he was, my mother did and was very excited for me.
I arrived at the studio in Burbank California at 3 P.M. for the 5:30 taping. The staff worked with me to make sure that every detail was covered. The backdrop was a huge canvas with an outdoor scene painted on it. They even had a fire pit with hot coals ready for me to cook on.