Entries in Johnny Carson (2)


Johnny Carson Debuted as "Tonight Show" Host 50 Years Ago

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Monday marks a special anniversary in the history of The Tonight Show.  Fifty years ago, on Oct. 1, 1962, Johnny Carson began his long run as host of NBC's late-night program.

Carson was The Tonight Show's third host, following Steve Allen and Jack Paar.  Alongside his sidekick, Ed McMahon, Carson enchanted audiences and introduced several famous comedy bits, including Carnac the Magnificent.

Carson's stint on the show ended on May 22, 1992.  He was succeeded by Jay Leno, following a behind-the-scenes battle for his job that also involved then-NBC Late Night host David Letterman.  Letterman would eventually move on to CBS.

Carson died in 2005, at the age of 79.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Legendary Comics Appear in Never-Before-Seen Videos

Photo Courtesy - The Friars Club Roasts(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time, the Friars have made available online "The Classic Friars Club Roasts," a DVD box set featuring roasts of legendary comedians Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles and Johnny Carson.

Video of the roasts is accompanied by a DVD of previously unseen outtakes. Almost a half-century has elapsed since these shows aired originally, and the pop-cultural artifacts have never been made available to the public until now.

"Thanks to the Friars Club roasts, America's comics were acknowledging humanity's intrinsic comic baseness rather than ignoring it,” writer Greg Beato said. “Finally, they were using their comic skills to push against the bounds of propriety, instead of merely tickling the public with childish euphemisms and coy innuendo. Cursing with abandon, reveling in their unconstrained crudity, erstwhile Catskills tumblers elevated themselves, at least temporarily, from jokers to truth-tellers."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio