If I Was Running A Company…Pop Culture HR Award #2

It is time to handout the second Pop Culture HR Award.  This is timely since this sector of the industry is going through changes and it has evolved into a money making machine for the companies in this industry. Although this person did not invent this sector, the person did revolutionize this sector that now every company in the industry has one.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the second recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award:


Johnny Carson you can say was the original HR Executive.  You can dissect it in many ways:


Johnny’s monologue would be a great opening week to motivate any employee if you’re down or way too happy.  When he does something wrong, he’ll admit to it, but diverts the attention to something else quickly.  During his time, he was the source to calm America down.  His legendary monologue always brings comfort to people:

Project Management:

Johnny and his writers have to create new material everyday for 30 years, which is a lifetime today.  It is hard to sustain it, but Johnny and staff manage through.  One of their “projects” is the skits.  Some projects fail, some last a long time.  For this example, we go to Carnac:


What I like about Johnny Carson was that when he’s doing the interview, he will let you talk.  You can tell it is a good story by crowd reaction and looking at his expressions that it was either funny, bring  joy, or he wanted to get out.  What Johnny wants was the guest to have their moment.  Watch the second part of the interview with Jackie Gleason:

Not only it was a place for actor and regular guests, but a haven for comedians who wanted to make it big in Hollywood.  Doing stand-up is a lonely place since you’re only person standing on stage and everyone is 10 feet away from you.  There are two reactions that comedian knows that you passed the test: the crowd reaction and a call from the couch from Johnny.  Johnny realizes in show business, standing there by yourself could be the loneliest feeling in the world, but when you earned the laughs from the audience and Johnny, you deserve to take a seat next to him.  Here’s Drew Carey’s stand-up act.  Listen to the audience and look at the end of the act:

It is also to note that we would not have a David Letterman, a Jon Stewart, a Conan O’Brien or a Craig Ferguson without Johnny Carson.  Johnny made it his domain and when he left in 1992, he open the gates for every network to find the next Johnny, although no one will reach Johnny’s cultural impact…ever. (If you’re wondering, I did intentionally leave out one person and you know who that is.)

Although he had some personal problems, Johnny never displayed it when he was on the air.  Simply, Johnny was the human resources for America’s entertainment.  He knew who to go after, research, let people have their say and the most important thing:  he communicated with people onstage and from afar with his monologues and jokes.  If you can communicate and can back it up with your work, you are truly a great manager and leader.  For the second recipient of the Pop Culture HR Award, here’s to you Johnny:

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