Just got off the phone with Larry Walkin, the very helpful head of Broadcast Journalism at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Johnny Carson's A.B. thesis, "How to Write Comedy Jokes," alas, is a "student record," and therefore not available to the world. Frustrating, because it's an audio tape where Carson taped radio comedy off the air and then explained why it was funny. ("In those days," says the kind Mr. Walkin, "that was New Media.") I can understand why Carson wouldn't have wanted it released to the public, but you have to suppose there'd be some gems in there. Ah, well.
Well, thank you for calling and finding out. For years, I've off and on again thought of trying to find this.
I searched University Microfilms on several occasions for it.
My guess is that eventually it will find it's way to a public forum - It's just too important a part of history not to. Perhaps the Smithsonian will try to get it or the museum of Film and TV.
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