After Johnny Carson's retirement from the show, Jay Leno stepped in as his permanent replacement. The format of the show has remained largely unchanged, consisting primarily of an opening ... See full summary »
This particular series combines several "The Dick Cavett Show" on ABC: ABC This Morning/The Dick Cavett Show ABC Daytime March 1968 - January 1969 The Dick Cavett Show ABC Primetime May 1969 - September 1969 The Dick Cavett Show ABC Late Night December 1969 - January 1975 The Dick Cavett Show ABC Late Night September - December 1986
Many taped episodes, including appearances by Ayn Rand, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, were lost in a fire at NBC's archive; only clips made for other programs have survived. NBC also recycled the original tapes of many episodes, without Johnny Carson's knowledge or approval. That stopped once he found out about it. See more »
[from his "What Democracy Means To Me" monologue - September 11, 1991]
To me, democracy means placing trust in the little guy, giving the fruits of nationhood to those who built the nation. Democracy means anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president.
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Whenever Carson added a skit to an episode, the "Mighty Carson Art Players" would be announced as guest stars. See more »
A number of 90-minute episodes from the 1970s were reedited to fit 60-minute timeslots for rerun purposes. See more »
We all received the sad news today that Johnny Carson, in his 80th year of life, died today. Carson had long been retired from his Tonight Show, a show taken over capably by Jay Leno. But there never was anyone like Johnny Carson, and there may never be.
What I most liked about Johnny was his humble approach to his show. He opened with a monologue, he told his jokes plainly and simply, and waited for the laughter. It usually came. Some times it didn't. When the laughs did not come, he took on that familiar sad look of his, and that became the joke.
I was a working person during the run of his show, but Johnny Carson's tonight show was one that I often stayed up late for, it was that good. When the show was still in New York, he of course told New York jokes. One I remember vividly was during one particular cold winter, Johnny simply said, "It was really cold today." Ed McMahon, his trusty sidekick, asked, "How cold was it?" Johnny answered, "It was so cold today, a cab driver was saying something to a pedestrian and his middle finger froze." Another I remember was, when doing his 'Carnac' routine, the answer was "Four on the floor." The question was, "Describe two 80-year old topless go-go dancers."
Johnny of course went to Los Angeles, and there the show took on another dimension. Johnny was quite a prankster, and played a good one on Ed McMahon, not as part of the Tonight Show, but funny anyway. Ed was "set up" by placing some studio property in the trunk of his car. Leaving the studio, guards made a random trunk check, and "discovered" the stolen property. Johnny Carson actually dressed up as one of the guards, Ed McMahon was so flustered, declaring his innocence, it didn't even register to him that he was face to face with his boss!!
But the best thing I liked about Johnny Carson was his interview style. He was the best ever. He would ask a question then shut up and let the guest talk. He didn't have a big ego, like many current TV personalities, and try to show how much he knew. He simply let the other person talk.
Farewell and Godspeed, Johnny Carson.
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