In front of her, a fully restored Chasen’s beckons and she walks in. To her surprise, the host immediately escorts her to a table… occupied by Johnny Carson.
“Well, it took you long enough. How’d it go?” He takes a sip of his ice tea.
“Oh my god, Johnny, I thought you were mad at-” he waves his hand and interrupts.
“Joanie, I had to kick you out of the nest. You know it. Sorry it didn’t go smoother, I guess I always figured I’d have more time to patch things up. But tell me, when Leno finally croaked or washed up, how’d you manage the show?”
Joan stares. “Uh, Johnny…”
“You… DID take the show, right? I mean, they didn’t leave Leno at the reins for more than a month after I died, right? What a suck up…”
The comedienne sits quietly. She thinks back to all the time wasted on E, the red carpets and kitschy afternoon fare. She thinks about all the NBC calls she ducked in the late 90s because the goddamn pricks gave her the cold shoulder.
“Oh…. oh Johnny. I think I really stepped in it.”
Carson sits, his lips pursed. “Aw hell, it’s alright. At least you kept your daughter out of the whole mess. You know how entertainment chews up and spits out good people, little Melissa’d probably be totally ruined. Hell, look at what it did to me! So what did she end up doing, anyhow?” That famous smile blasts her.