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Press Release - March 10, 2005

Heritage to Offer the King of Mikes!

Dallas, Texas: Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers (HGA) will offer Johnny Carson's on-air microphone, used for many years on The Tonight Show, in their upcoming Signature auction to be held April 9 & 10 in their Dallas, Texas headquarters.

"This is a fabulous find," said Doug Norwine, Director of HGA's Music and Entertainment auctions. "This microphone was literally rescued from the trash by Stan Sweeney, The Tonight Show's chief boom operator. During a period of technical upgrades in the 1980s, the offer was put out to certain members of the crew to 'take a memento or two before we throw it out.' It wasn't uncommon at the time for studios to get rid of old equipment in this manner, and it's only due to the incredible foresight of this gentleman that this piece of TV history has survived. It's been in his safe keeping ever since it was rescued from the trash heap."

"In the few weeks since Carson's death, David Letterman has expressed interest in this unique collectible," Norwine said, "and even made an offer on it - Letterman keeps Jack Paar's mike on his desk as a tribute and wanted to add Carson's to his collection. However, Stan has decided to offer the mike at auction and give all of Carson's fans a chance to own this wonderful memento."

Norwine continued, "This mike was seen on Carson's desk during the 1960s and 1970s, and is labeled 'JOHNNY'S MIC...NOT ED'S...NOT FRED'S,' referring to co-host Ed McMahon and producer Fred DeCordova. This inscription not only makes this mike a one-of-a-kind item, it positively identifies it as the mike that Carson used on-air for so many years."

"Without a doubt, Carson was the King of Late Night," added Norwine. "This microphone is a unique piece of memorabilia from this important and beloved entertainer."

Prospective consignors and sellers of top-end entertainment and music memorabilia are invited to call Doug Norwine at 1-800-872-6467 ext. 452 or John Hickey at 1-800-872-6467 ext. 264 to discuss their material. Or visit and click on the "consign" tab. Or simply email Doug Norwine at or John Hickey at

For more information about Heritage's auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Movie poster consignors, please call Grey Smith at 214-668-6928 or email

To purchase a catalog for any Heritage Sale, please contact Nicole Jewell at 800-872-6467, Ext. 272 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor Dallas, TX 75219 or visit to order by credit card.

Images, descriptions, and prices realized from past auctions are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at

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