A report on Johnny Carson

Carson in October 1970
Navy portrait of Carson
Carson as a guest on Jack Benny's television program, 1955
Carson in 1957
With Dick Cavett and Alan King in 1968
Carson in the 1990s
On a trip to Tanzania in 1994
Carson being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush in 1992
Carson reading a story to his three sons in 1955: From left: Chris, Cory, and Richard (Ricky)
Carson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

American television host, comedian, writer, and producer.

- Johnny Carson
Carson in October 1970

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The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

27 links

Doc Severinsen led the NBC Orchestra beginning in 1967, he held the role until the show's finale
Carson as Carnac the Magnificent, a reoccurring comedic role he introduced in 1964.
Carson's first Tonight Show on New Year's Eve, 1962; shown with Skitch Henderson and Ed McMahon
With Dick Cavett and Alan King
Some memorable moments. Top left: Carson's first show with Groucho, 1962. Top right: Carson practices pitching at Yankee Stadium, 1962. Bottom left: Tiny Tim's wedding, 1969. Bottom right: Carson does a skydiving demonstration, 1968.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was an American late-night talk show hosted by Johnny Carson on NBC, the third iteration of the Tonight Show franchise.

The title card for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the current incarnation of the show

The Tonight Show

18 links

American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954.

American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954.

The title card for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the current incarnation of the show
Bookmark promotion for Allen's late-night show
Jack Paar, 1950s
Jack Paar and U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1959, prior to the 1960 presidential election.
Dick Cavett, Alan King and Johnny Carson
New Year's Eve 1962, with (L-R) Skitch Henderson, Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon.
Woody Allen and Carson, 1964
Jay Leno in 1993
First Lady Laura Bush and Jay Leno
Will Ferrell and Conan O'Brien
O'Brien quickly gained online support during the controversy.
Leno and President Barack Obama on the set of The Tonight Show during a break in taping, October 25, 2011.
Fallon in late 2013, months before inheriting The Tonight Show.
Ernie Kovacs, regular substitute host during the Steve Allen era.
Host Jack Paar, announcer/sidekick Hugh Downs, and bandleader Jose Melis during the Paar era.
Dick Cavett and Jack Paar, 1973
Johnny Carson in 1957
Johnny Carson in 1965
Jay Leno in 1995
Jimmy Fallon in 2007

The show has been hosted by six comedians: Steve Allen (1954–1957), Jack Paar (1957–1962), Johnny Carson (1962–1992), Jay Leno (1992–2009 and 2010–2014), Conan O'Brien (2009–2010), and Jimmy Fallon (2014–present).

Letterman in 2021

David Letterman

14 links

American television host, comedian, writer, and producer.

American television host, comedian, writer, and producer.

Letterman in 2021
Letterman in 2011
Letterman's comedic career took hold at Los Angeles' Comedy Store
Letterman interviewing comedian Jerry Lewis in 1982
The Ed Sullivan Theater, where Late Show with David Letterman was recorded
Letterman with President Barack Obama in 2009
Letterman at the 2016 Peabody Awards
Letterman receiving the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Medallion, December 2012
Letterman at the 39th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1987
The Ed Sullivan Theater, where Late Show with David Letterman was recorded

In total, Letterman hosted 6,080 episodes of Late Night and Late Show, surpassing his friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late night talk show host in American television history.

Television Hall of Fame

7 links

Founded by a former president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences , John H. Mitchell (1921–1988), to honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to U.S. television.

Founded by a former president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences , John H. Mitchell (1921–1988), to honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to U.S. television.

Johnny Carson

Allen in 1977

Steve Allen

7 links

American television personality, radio personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, and writer.

American television personality, radio personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, and writer.

Allen in 1977
The handprints of Allen in front of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park
Bookmark promotion for Allen's late-night show
Steve Allen with Jayne Meadows in 1987

Other recurring routines included "Crazy Shots" (also known as "Wild Pictures"), a series of sight gags accompanied by Allen on piano; Allen inviting audience members to select three musical notes at random, and then composing a song based on the notes; a satire on radio's long-running The Answer Man and a precursor to Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent (sample answer: "Et tu, Brute."

McMahon in November 2005

Ed McMahon

5 links

American announcer, game show host, comedian, actor, singer, and combat aviator.

American announcer, game show host, comedian, actor, singer, and combat aviator.

McMahon in November 2005
McMahon at the premiere of Air America in 1990

McMahon and Johnny Carson began their association in their first TV series, the ABC game show Who Do You Trust?, running from 1957 to 1962.

Leno in June 2019

Jay Leno

8 links

American television host, comedian, and writer.

American television host, comedian, and writer.

Leno in June 2019
Leno in 1993, in the year after becoming host of The Tonight Show
Leno in 2006
Leno speaking in 2020
Leno on set of The Tonight Show in 2005
Leno shaking hands with President Ronald Reagan in April 1987
Leno with President Barack Obama in March 2009
Leno arriving at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards in his Hispano-Suiza Aero, 1993

Starting in 1986, Leno was a regular substitute host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

Edgar Bergen and Mortimer Snerd with a contestant couple including a bizarre Snerd doppelgänger, 1956

Who Do You Trust?

4 links

American television game show.

American television game show.

Edgar Bergen and Mortimer Snerd with a contestant couple including a bizarre Snerd doppelgänger, 1956
Johnny Carson and Jane Baldasare in a show stunt, 1961

The series was initially emceed by Johnny Carson and announced by Bill Nimmo.

Title card used from April 22, 2013 to May 20, 2015, based on the marquee outside of CBS Studio 50 at the time

Late Show with David Letterman

9 links

American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise.

American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise.

Title card used from April 22, 2013 to May 20, 2015, based on the marquee outside of CBS Studio 50 at the time
Late Show with David Letterman logo
Letterman interviewing Michelle Obama in 2012
View from the proscenium of the Ed Sullivan theater
View of the stage with David Letterman's desk and guest seats
View from the balcony

As host of both Late Night and Late Show for more than 30 years, Letterman surpassed Johnny Carson as the longest running late-night talk show host in 2013.

Carlin in 1975

George Carlin

4 links

American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic.

American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic.

Carlin in 1975
Carlin (right) with singer Buddy Greco in 1967
Carlin performing on This Is Tom Jones in 1969
Carlin performing in the 1970s
Carlin at a book signing for Brain Droppings at Barnes & Noble in 2004
Carlin in April 2008
George Carlin Way
A dedication from the Laugh Factory two days after Carlin died

He was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era and hosted the first episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975.