Floyd R. Turbo

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Floyd R. Turbo was a recurring comedic character on The Tonight Show, portrayed by host Johnny Carson from 1977 until his departure from the program in 1992.

Floyd R. Turbo was a middle-aged "everyman," a politically conservative type who taped editorial messages for television (à la Gilda Radner's befuddled Emily Litella character). In the days before public-access television cable TV, ordinary citizens were allotted time on local television to air their views, usually in opposition to another's previously stated views, and at late or odd hours. Billed as "Mr. Silent Majority" (from a phrase used by President Richard Nixon) and based on characters Carson encountered in his northeast Nebraska childhood, 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 liberation, and hunting, introducing himself each time as "Floyd R. Turbo, American."

Carson once 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." [1]

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