Floyd R. Turbo

floyd-r-turbo-tonight-show-johnny-carsonOne of many comic character performed by talk show host Johnny Carson first seen in 1977 during skits on the late night talk variety show THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON/NBC/1962-92.

Floyd R. Turbo was an opinionated super-patriot “everyman” type who taped editorial messages for television, (a la Gilda Radner’s befuddled Emily Litella character).

Billed as “Mr. Silent Majority,” Floyd R. Turbo dressed in a plaid hunting jacket and hat, and stood nervously in front of a TV camera as he delivered his opinions on gun control, war, women’s lib, and hunting (“If God didn’t want us to hunt, He wouldn’t have given up plaid shirts; I only kill in self defense-what would you do if a rabbit pulled a knife on you?”).

Johnny Carson told Rolling Stone reporter Timothy White “He’s (Turbo) the epitome of the redneck ignoramus. I find the things (characteristics) each week when I go out to do…his gestures at the wrong time, his not knowing where he’s supposed to be, his feeble attempts at humor, his talks about things he doesn’t quite understand.”

Here’s an example of Turbo’s wisdom on nuclear reactors:

“And what’s all this fuss about plutonium: How can something named after a Disney character be dangerous? So what if an atomic plant blows up? The people who say that, they are afraid to die. I’m not afraid to die because all my life I have lived by the Good Book, the American Legion magazine…They say atomic radiation can hurt your reproductive organs. My answer is, so can a hockey stick, but we don’t stop building them….Sure, nuclear leaks will affect the forest animals. So what if a deer grows up with two rear ends? They’re easier to shoot…So in my simple way, I’ m asking that you support nuclear energy. Remember being an American means being powerful, proud and pushy, and in conclusion let me finish by ending…Thank You.”

And on the draft, Turbo offered this opinion:

“This station wants no draft. They want to deprive a boy of the Army. The Army is educational. The Army teaches you how to do dental work-with the butt of a rifle….how to tell what time it is by making a sundial out of a dead person…how to make beer out of bird droppings and also how to make a rubber girl out of an inner tube…In conclusion, I say we should not end the draft. We should increase it. We have a moral obligation to give Bob Hope soldiers to entertain. Fellow Americans, it is a honor to be drafted and to serve your country. Thank you, bye-bye, and buy bonds.”


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Comedic Characters, Talk Shows

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