The iconic catchphrase “Here’s Johnny” originated from the renowned TV show, “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”. The witty announcer Ed McMahon would introduce the charming host with this line at every episode’s beginning. This classic talk-show aired for three decades starting in 1962 and concluding early in 1992.
However, it was Stanley Kubrick‘s horror masterpiece “The Shining”, released a decade later, that immortalized this phrase into pop culture history. In one of its most memorable scenes featuring Jack Nicholson as character Jack Torrance wielding an axe to break through a door while uttering those famous words – “Here’s Johnny”- by putting his face through the broken woodwork!
The iconic scene has been adopted, referenced and exploited by countless other creations, including music videos, cartoons, as well as internet memes.
The phrase “Here’s Johnny” was originally coined on the talk show “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”, which debuted in 1962. However, online users often attribute it to a line from the film “The Shining,” released in 1980.
It’s a question whether the line was improvised by Jack Nicholson, playing Jack Torrance, or if it was a scripted addition of the director of the film, Stanley Kubrick. However, what is certain, that the line isn’t present in the source material of Stephen King.
“Here’s Johnny” mate it into the film on chance, as it was almost cut from the final edit, however, as luck would have it, it turned into the most popular, iconic, and by many accounts, the scariest scene of the entire movie.
Following the premier of the movie in 1980, the catchphrase has been used by musicians and other performing artists, referencing the iconic masterpiece.
The expression has given rise to an abundance of image macros and memes across the vast expanse of the internet, with a plethora of variations depicting its original scene.
The majority of “Here’s Johnny” related content can be found on popular image sharing platforms such as Reddit and 9GAG or forums like 4chan.
Additionally, YouTube is inundated with parodies while movies, cartoons, TV series along with music are brimming over with Easter eggs and references galore.
- The Guardian – ‘Here’s Johnny!’: The Shining scene is scariest in movie history, claims study
- Know Your Meme – Here’s Johnny