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February 14, 2015
By Stan Silliman


Basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian passed away at the age of 84. The below story was written when he originally announced his retirement in June of 1991. Coincidentally, another iconic late night person announced his retirement during the same week. Prepare to be flabbergasted:

One is a re-known basketball coach, simultaneously the most brilliant and the most investigated of his time, claiming school victories for 18 years. The other is the quintessential television “star,”entertaining late night viewers for 30 years.

One chews towels on a bench, the other taps pencils on a desk. Of course we’re describing Jerry Tarkanian and Johnny Carson, icons in their rewspective professions, who both chose to announce retirements within a 72 hour period.

At first you might think this son of an Armenian grocer and the son of a Nebraska utility executive would share very little in common. Well, you are wrong, Doubter’s Breath!!!

As you will see, the comparisons are amazing:

Jerry is known as “Tark the Shark.” Johnny once made “sharkskin” suits.

Johnny is known as the “King of the Night.” Jerry’s locker room is frequently visited by Don King!

Johnny is a headliner in Las Vegas! Jerry also makes headlines in Las Vegas.

Johnny has ex-wives named Jody, Joanne and Joanna. Jerry had players named Johnson, Johnson and Johnson!

Johnny hosted the game show “Who Do You Trust?” and was a guest on “To Tell the Truth.” Jerry told the NCAA he would “Tell the Truth” but then asked “Who Do You Trust?”

Johnny emceed the Friar’s Roast. Jerry was roasted by the NCAA.

Jerry coached at Long Beach State and drove a Malibu. Johnny lived a long time at Malibu Beach.

Jerry coached in an arena known as the Shark Tank. Johnny calls ex-wives’ divorce attorneys Tanked-Up Sharks.

Jerry had three ex-players in a hot tub with a known “fixer.” Johnny always in hot water with three ex-wives.

Jerry looks like “Fish” from Barney Miller. Johnny likes to fish and drink Miller beer.

Jerry’s biography “Tark” authored by Terry Pluto. Johnny says his biography “King of the Night” was written by a dog!

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