CARNIVAL SPIRIT: A CHANNEL 4 Classic
For most of the 37 years Phil Johnson delivered editorials on WWL-TV, this was the one he presented at Carnival time. For many viewers, hearing his description of Mardi Gras became a Fat Tuesday tradition in itself. During this time when so much of New Orleans has changed and continues to change, we thought it would be fitting, and in many ways comforting, to present it once again.
-- And what else is there to talk about except that which everybody else is talking about…of course, Mardi Gras.
It's that time again: that wonderful, crazy, colorful, crowded, happy, mixed-up but glorious time when all New Orleans forgets itself for a day, lets its hair down, puts on a rubber nose, a funny hat, and walks around laughing at the silly people in their crazy costumes.
It's a day for contrasts…a day for change.
A day when legions of quiet, timid, introspective little men forsake their cashier's windows and their neat clerk’s desks, put masks across their faces, and suddenly become Don Juan.
A day when a secretary can become Queen of England…a housewife, Annie Oakley.
Mardi Gras is fantasy in a fright wig, reality with a burnt cork on its nose, a dream with a scepter in its hand, and pompousness about to be punctured.
Mardi Gras is fun and laughter, vulgarity and coarseness, color and light, and at the end, quiet.
Mardi Gras is a state of mind, an attitude, a pose, an opinion. But at its most basic…and perhaps satisfying of all, Mardi Gras is the one day in the entire year when New Orleans can tell the world:
"We're going to have fun!" And we do.