Carson v. Here’s Johnny Portable Toilet
Why it Matters:
This case involves the use of a phrase generally associated with a popular entertainer for commercial purposes.
As the star of “The Tonight Show,” John Carson was introduced five nights a week with the phrase “Here’s Johnny.” The defendants in this case used the phrase “Here’s Johnny” as part of their business selling and renting portable toilets.
The defendants agreed that they chose this phrase because of the connection with Johnny Carson and but for such strong association between the celebrity and the phrase, they would probably not have used it. Therefore, they intentionally used Carson’s identity for commercial use.