The list of current television actors who have been on the “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson is not long. Even shorter is the list of those who had the privilege of doing it twice. But it should come as no surprise to “NCIS” fans that none other than longtime Leroy Gibbs actor Mark Harmon happens to fill out that list.
After all, Harmon has been on the scene since the early 1970s. He found major acting success with the TV shows “Flamingo Road” and then “St. Elsewhere” in the 1980s. And considering Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” ran until 1992, there was plenty of time for Harmon to earn himself an appearance or two.
That’s not to call attention to Mark Harmon’s age. But even if it were, the “NCIS” star seems to be a pretty good sport about how long his career has been. In fact, in an interview with another legend of late-night TV, Harmon joked about his experience with Johnny Carson.
“Part of the advantage for me there is that I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I knew later that he could destroy you if he wanted to,” Harmon told Stephen Colbert.
And when Colbert asked Harmon which year it was that he went on Carson. The “NCIS” star responded perfectly. “1902,” he said matter-of-factly.
Harmon went on to describe how nice of a man Johnny Carson was. He mentioned that the second time he went on the show, he was shocked to find that his fellow guest was his favorite comedian of all time, George Carlin. It was a better surprise than the one that was waiting for him in his first-ever talk show appearance, that’s for sure.
The First Talk Show Appearance ‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Ever Made
At the beginning of the recent interview that Harmon did with Stephen Colbert, “The Late Show” host noted that the “NCIS” star doesn’t do many talk show appearances.
That may have something to do with the first one Harmon ever made. In fact, he can’t even remember which talk show or which host it was. But what he does remember is that he didn’t say a single word. He was one of the last guests, meaning he didn’t get as much air time as the previous ones.
For those who aren’t familiar, Mark Harmon was a star quarterback at UCLA. It’s feasible that he could have made a career out of football. So the talk show host asked him about the sport. But the other guest jumped and talked about his own football experience. 30 seconds later, the talk show was back to commercial and ushering the now-“NCIS” star off the stage.
“Not one word,” Harmon said of his first talk show experience. Thankfully, he had and continues to have plenty of opportunities to let his voice be heard.