Two brothers from Sagua La Grande and Carson’s punchlines

Like many of you, we came to the US in the 1960’s. Our parents had to work hard and learn English. It was not easy, especially understanding jokes and humor. My father would often watch Johnny Carson’s monologue to practice English and try to understand what all of those guys were talking about at work.

He once told me that Carson’s jokes had everyone laughing at work, but he just couldn’t get the punchline. He tried, although I’m not sure if he ever did understand the punchlines. It was no better for my uncle, my father’s brother, who lived in Wisconsin too. Imagine two Cuban brothers from Sagua La Grande trying to get Johnny Carson’s humor.

Johnny Carson made his debut on The Tonight Show on this day in 1962. It went on until May of 1992 when Carson retired. Along the way, Carson had a way of addressing political issues with humor and incredible timing. He made politics fun, especially when he would poke fun at both sides with great lines.

Carson was a TV legend and his show a classic. At the same time, I will never forget my father’s face trying to figure out what Carson said and why so many were laughing.

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