Almost six years into his post-Tonight Show life, Johnny Carson has settled into a happy routine: He plays tennis, he hangs out on his boat.

He kills 'em in Tanzania.

Yes, these days the once-and-forever king of late-night TV is playing to an audience far, far removed from his old Tonight Show soundstage in Burbank, California.

Friends tell TV tabloid EXTRA that Carson, now 72, frequently entertains the locals of his beloved African get-away. Does magic tricks. Tells jokes in the land's native Swahili.

(Possible monologue opener: "Hujambo?...Asante. Asante sana!" Translation: "How are you?...Thank you. Thank you very much.")

The EXTRA report, featuring interviews with Carson's former band leader Doc Severinsen and director Fred De Cordova, airs tonight.

In it, De Cordova and Severinsen attest to Carson's conversion to Swahili. (He's reportedly fluent.)

They say that their erstwhile boss and wife, Alex, love the country, in general, and a national park, in specific. (Said to be big fans of safaris, too--ones where they shoot pictures, not animals.)

And the people of Tanzania love Carson right back. They're apparently fans of that little comedy thing he does.

(Possible audience response: "Nimefurahi sana!" Translation: "I am very happy!")

No word on whether Carson resorts to any of his old shtick for the impromptu shows.

(Possible bit: "Moto!" Translation: "It is so hot...")

Also, no word on whether Tonight sidekick Ed McMahon makes the trek to Tanzania to lend a supportive chortle.

(Possible Ed bit: "Nataka beera baridi sana." Translation: "I want a cold beer.")

Carson bid Tonight farewell in May 1992, ending a storied 30-year run. He has only made one TV appearance since becoming a private citizen--a wordless, 1994 cameo on protégè David Letterman's CBS show.

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