Johnny Carson and Hysterical Animal Moments!

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Sunday, April 12, 2015
Animal handlers Joan Embry and Jim Fowler were return guests who brought exotic animals like baby bears, orangutans and marmosets to the "Tonight Show" set.
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Although the animals were drawn to the late-night comic, often crawling across his desk and shoulders and even atop his head, he seemed to enjoy the attention. Unless, of course, the critters started to make a mess on his jacket.

Joan Embery (San Diego Zoo’s “ambassador,” who in 22 years has brought more than 300 animals on Tonight) “I can trust Johnny. He knows when to back off and when to jump in, and how to handle an animal. He knows they are sometimes potentially dangerous, but he also wants to be involved; he is braver than most people think. When we go on, he flies by the seat of his pants, and I like that. Animals are spontaneous. In his own way, he has done more than anyone else for wildlife on network TV.

“The most remembered animal, of course, is the marmoset that sat on Johnny’s head. Probably the ones that played the best with him were the gorillas and the chimps. I also liked the time I took this elephant on the show. She was 8 feet tall and weighed 8,000 pounds, and I had her pick up Johnny with her trunk. He wasn’t exactly in the right position, so she had this death grip on his leg. I’m sure he appreciated she held on tighter.”

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