Johnny Carson
February 23, 1979
Many THANKS! to a Totally Kate contributor for this interview!
Screen Captures
(Johnny Carson tells when Mrs. Columbo will air and introduces Kate Mulgrew)
Johnny Carson:   Would you welcome please, Kate Mulgrew.

(Audience laughs when Kate comes out and shakes hands with the other guests while Johnny stands with his arms out.  Finally she shakes his hand.)

Johnny Carson: (Irish accent) Hello Katie, how are you? Eh, Katie, Katie, Katie...

(Johnny is told he has three minutes)

Johnny Carson:   I know, we got behind.

Kate Mulgrew:   Three minutes?

Johnny Carson:   My apologies already for getting you out here late, I'm sorry.

Kate Mulgrew:   I know, thank you.

Johnny Carson:   Are you as Irish as that name is?  Katie Mulgrew.

Kate Mulgrew:   Absolutely, yes.  100 percent on both sides.

Johnny Carson:   Are you really?

Kate Mulgrew:   Do you think I should be proud?

Johnny Carson:   Sure.

Kate Mulgrew:   And so is Kate Columbo.

Johnny Carson:   Yeah?

Kate Mulgrew:   Yes.

Johnny Carson:   You know you never saw Mrs. Columbo at all when Peter Falk did it. He always referred to her.

Kate Mulgrew:   Yeah, I know.  I know.

Johnny Carson:   Are you going to refer to Columbo?

Kate Mulgrew:   I refer to him, yes.  I'm constantly referring to him because he is either in London or San Diego or very busy.

Johnny Carson:   You see I always got the impression that Mrs. Columbo, the way he referred to her, was not (waves arm toward Kate) like this.

Kate Mulgrew:   No?

Johnny Carson:   You see, you are an extremely attractive lady.

Kate Mulgrew: You thought of her as dowdy, fortyish, right?   Matronly.

Johnny Carson:   I pictured Mrs. Columbo coming out in a  raincoat saying ---

Kate Mulgrew:   But it makes a lot of sense.

Johnny Carson:   --- 'Heeeey, hey dinner's served.  Heeey, come on.'

Kate Mulgrew:   But if you think of it, it makes a great deal of sense.

Johnny Carson:   Never figures.

Kate Mulgrew: Don't you think?

Johnny Carson:   I don't know.

Kate Mulgrew:   Because I fell in love with his mind.

Johnny Carson:   Ahhhhhh.

Kate Mulgrew:   It makes a great deal of sense.  He was eccentric, right, when we met. And I imagine, I think we met probably in college and I fell desperately in love with that genius.

Johnny Carson:   Are you going to have any kind of personality --- things you know ---

Kate Mulgrew:   (laughs)  Am I going to have...?

Johnny Carson:   Personality quirks like Peter.  (makes Columbo gestures)  Peter works very deliberate --- (more Columbo gestures and imitation)

Kate Mulgrew:    No, Johnny, no personality.

Johnny Carson:   No, he never had a pencil or anything.  I mean...

Kate Mulgrew:   No, it's quite opposite.   Because I'm not a detective.  I am his beloved wife...

Johnny Carson:   Yeah.

Kate Mulgrew:   ... and the mother of his child...

Johnny Carson:   Right.

Kate Mulgrew:   ...but I sort of stumble fortuitously onto these crimes, and because of a kind of cleverness, whether by association or not ---

Johnny Carson:   You see by osmosis, right?

Kate Mulgrew:   That's right.

Johnny Carson:   You solve these crimes?

Kate Mulgrew:   I solve them.  Yes.

Johnny Carson:   And by daylight you are a housewife undercover.

Kate Mulgrew:   Usually at night.

Johnny Carson:   Yeah!

Kate Mulgrew:   The darker the better.  Right.

Johnny Carson:   How do they see Mrs. Columbo.  I mean, obviously you said that they saw a young, pretty girl.

Kate Mulgrew:   Well, I don't know what they saw originally.  I mean my information is still sort of starved.  But I think that ultimately they realized what I realized when I took the role which is that it makes a delightful match. I mean it makes great sense I think, when you really think about it, because the love affair is the first thing.  I mean a bright person --- I shouldn't say that --- but two bright people together, I mean that kind of chemistry works in a sort of extraordinary fashion.

Johnny Carson:   Are you married to somebody bright yourself?

Kate Mulgrew:   No, I'm not married.

Johnny Carson:   Oh, you're not, you're single.  Single girl.

Kate Mulgrew:   Yeah.  I talk to lots of bright walls.

Johnny Carson:   What?  Well.   Is that by choice or is it one of those...

Kate Mulgrew:   No.  I'm kidding.  I'm kidding.

Johnny Carson:   One of those --- a lot of us talk to walls for a while, but it was not by our choice and I didn't mean to dig into your personal life.

Kate Mulgrew:   Oh dig, I love it.

Johnny Carson:   What?  Really?

Kate Mulgrew:   Dig.  Yeah.

Johnny Carson:     So you are a single girl then.

Kate Mulgrew:   I'm single.  Yes.

Johnny Carson:   Wow.

Kate Mulgrew:   Don't I look it?

Johnny Carson:   I don't know what that means.  Do I look married?

Kate Mulgrew:   Not at all.

(audience hoots and guffaws)

Johnny Carson:   Why, you horny little devil, you.

Kate Mulgrew:   Now you got it straight.  Hoo!

Johnny Carson:   Now we got character.  Okay, I want to get some character delineation here.  Are you one of a small Irish family or...

Kate Mulgrew:   Very big.  Eight children.

Johnny Carson:   Eight?

Kate Mulgrew:   Yeah.  Yeah.

Johnny Carson:   All born in this country?

Kate Mulgrew:   Yes.

Johnny Carson:   Brilliant question.  (mumbles)  That's where the mind --- just for a moment --- just absolutely went boom.  I was going to say all born, and then I said no, that doesn't sound right, all born in this country.

(commercial chord plays)

Johnny Carson:   (sings)  Good night for a while, we'll be right...  Okay we're coming right back.

(end commercial)

Johnny Carson: Will you visit us some other time?

Kate Mulgrew:   Oh, yes. Absolutely.

Johnny Carson:   Anyway the show starts as a Monday Night at the Movies the 26th of this month and then goes regularly on March 1st, right?

Kate Mulgrew:   Yes.

Johnny Carson:    From ten until eleven.  Thanks for being here.

Kate Mulgrew:   My pleasure.