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Johnny Carson’s desk up for auction

Also up for grabs: studio flooring and audio recordings
/ Source: The Associated Press

The rosewood desk Johnny Carson sat behind for countless celebrity interviews is among several “Tonight Show” items headed for the auction block.

“If the microphone was his pen and sword, the desk was his field of battle,” said Doug Norwine, director of Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers’ music and entertainment memorabilia. “This is a desk with a story.”

In April, Heritage Galleries sold Carson’s on-air microphone at auction for $50,787.

Among the unique features of the gold-colored, inlaid top desk: a hidden, sliding ashtray holder Carson used to conceal his lit cigarettes; a trash bin; and a lining of orange shag carpet with a burn mark from the time Carson set fire to his index cards after his jokes kept tanking.

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Carson, who hosted “The Tonight Show” from 1962 to 1992, used the desk between 1974 and 1981. He died in January at age 79.

The auction will be held on Oct. 8. A minimum reserve won’t be announced until seven days before the auction.

Other memorabilia up for grabs: a studio clock, a 3-foot-square section of flooring Carson stood on to deliver his monologue from August 1985 to May 1992, and audio recordings he made in 1949 at the University of Nebraska for his senior thesis, “How to Write Comedy for Radio.”

Norwine said the items were consigned by “someone connected to the entertainment industry” who wants to remain anonymous.