‘Daniel Boone’: How the Show is Responsible for One of Johnny Carson’s Most Iconic Moments

by Madison Miller
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Johnny Carson had some of the most memorable guests of his time on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”

One of his most iconic moments happened when a star from “Daniel Boone” came onto the show.

Johnny Carson and ‘Daniel Boone’

The show “Daniel Boone” is an action-adventure show that stars Fess Parker as Daniel Boone. It aired from 1964 to 1970. The show follows Boone as he does surveys and expeditions all around Boonesborough.

At the same time, he runs into friendly and less-friendly Native American groups. It is set before and then just during the Revolutionary War.

When Parker’s co-star Ed Ames, who played Mingo, went on Johnny Carson’s show in 1965, he put his experience as a frontier hero to the test. According to MeTV, he threw a tomahawk at a cowboy-shaped target on the wall.

It landed directly on the figure’s groin area with the handle pointed upward. Then Carson said, “I didn’t even know you were Jewish!” It became a memorable moment in the talk show personality’s legacy. Some say the laughter after his comment is one of the longest sustained laughter by a live audience in television history.

Ames was Jewish himself and was also president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Zionist Organization of America. He once said, “I am a secular Jew, but I feel strongly about Israel and the Jewish communities of Europe.”

Ames asks Carson if he wants to try throwing as well. Carson replies, “I can’t hurt him any more than you did.” Besides getting a popular comedic line in, Carson also got the opportunity to learn how to throw a tomahawk from a “Daniel Boone” star.

Ed Ames Outside of TV Career

Besides playing the sidekick in “Daniel Boone,” Ed Ames was also known for his career in music.

He was a pop singer known for songs like “My Cup Runneth Over,” “Who Will Answer?” and “When the Snow Is on the Roses” in the ’60s.

He was also part of the very popular group known as The Ames Brothers in the 1950s. They were a singing quartet made up of brothers. The group was popular for songs like “Melodie D’Amour,” “You, You, You,” and “My Bonnie Lassie.”

When The Ames Brothers split up he began to pursue acting as well. He was in the Broadway production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Fantasticks.”

Ed Ames is the last surviving member of the group and is 93.

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