Tonight! (1953–1957)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Music | Talk-Show
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The show originated as a local New York City late night program in June 1953 and went onto the network in September 1954. Throughout the summer of 1956, Steve Allen was the only host. When ... See full summary »

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Title: Tonight! (1953–1957)

Tonight! (1953–1957) on IMDb 7.5/10

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5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | unknown


1957 | 1956 | 1955 | 1954 | 1953
Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


Series cast summary:
 Himself - Conductor (52 episodes, 1953-1957)
Gene Rayburn ...
 Himself - Announcer / ... (52 episodes, 1953-1957)
 Himself - Host (48 episodes, 1953-1957)


The show originated as a local New York City late night program in June 1953 and went onto the network in September 1954. Throughout the summer of 1956, Steve Allen was the only host. When Allen's prime-time series debuted in the summer of 1956, he limited his appearances on this show to Wednesday through Friday and a series of guest hosts filled in until 1 October 1956 when Ernie Kovacs took over as permanent host for the Monday and Tuesday broadcast. Kovacs had his own set of entertainers, i.e., Wendell, Hanley, Arthur and Loden. The last show was broadcast on 25 January 1957."Tonight's" first monologue was given with Steve Allen seated at the piano: "In case you're just joining us...this is Tonight...and I can't think of too much to tell you about it, except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever. I wouldn't call it a might say it's more a Monotonious ." Written by J.E. McKillop <>

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Release Date:

June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knickerbocker Beer Presents The Steve Allen Show  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(1954-1956) | (1953-1956) | (1956-1957) | (1957)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ernie Kovacs was the regular guest host on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning in 1956. But he was not considered to take over as regular host when Allen was dismissed. See more »


Featured in Wayne's World 2 (1993) See more »


This Could Be the Start of Something Big
Written and Performed by Steve Allen
See more »

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User Reviews

The Birth of Late Night TV, and the start of a Dynasty
2 February 2002 | by (Dixie, USA) – See all my reviews

When the world was filled with Wrestling or early Evenings after the news, Steve Allen gathered a bunch of comics (most of whom went on to great careers in their own right) and created the original Tonight Show. It was talk, it was skits. It was fun, and it was Steve Allen.

I have only had a chance to catch clips of the show in reruns a few years ago, and the brilliance of the show shines through. While he would be eclipsed in years to come by Carson, Allen put together a solid show with no real weaknesses other than the fact that he found himself funny too often, and couldn't keep a straight face. (Yes, carson did that too, but he usually didn't fall down laughing) And unlike Carson, he depended a lot more on his supporting actors in the skits (both a + and a - for him).

If you can ever catch "The Steve Allen Show" as it's sometimes labeled in repackaging ever, please do. you will thank yourself that you did.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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