“We had booked – this is no joke – the famed pianist, classical pianist, Horacio Gutiérrez, who’s been with us three or four times on the show,” Carson explains. He then asks producer Fred de Cordova about the timing of an important phone call. It had come through just hours before – and it had presented some bad news for the broadcast.
Carson continues, “About 1:30 this afternoon, [there was a call] saying that [Gutiérrez] had had an accident. He was closing the car door, and, apparently, he nipped his fingers, or something, and was in a lot of pain. Apparently, it’s not broken [and] it’s not going to affect his career or anything – but we’re stuck.”
Such are the perils of showbiz. But, ever the professional, Carson has something up his sleeve. And it will make a big impression on the audience. “We’re not stuck because here’s what I’m going to try to do,” Carson says. He then pauses, adding to the suspense of the moment.