In September 1983, Joan Rivers was officially designated Carson's permanent guest host, a role she had been essentially filling for more than a year before then. In 1986, she abruptly left for her own show, The Late Show (1986), on the then new Fox Network. Carson first learned of her show when watching her press conference on TV. She called Carson after the announcement and he was furious at Rivers for failing to inform him personally before the press conference, but he refused to take the call. Carson was so infuriated that he banned Rivers from his show, canceling even the three weeks of guest hosting she was scheduled to. Carson never forgave her for leaving, and never spoke to her again, even after she wrote him a note following the accidental death of Carson's son Ricky. Rivers stated that she didn't want to tell Carson before the announcement was made because she was afraid FOX would cancel the deal if word leaked out. She maintains that she handled things the right way by not telling Carson of her plans ahead of time. However, Carson stated that he felt betrayed by Rivers not because she dared to compete with him, but because she was not honest with him beforehand about her intentions and did not ask him for advice and his blessing. The Tonight Show reverted to various guest hosts after Joan left, with Jay Leno the most frequent. Leno then became the exclusive guest host in the fall of 1987, a position he held for the remainder of Carson's reign. See more »
[last lines from his last show - May 22, 1992]
I bid you a very heartfelt good night.
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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 »
This show is downright hilarious! Johnny Carson is the funniest comedian ever! Period. You have to love Johnny. The moments on his show can't be beat. Ed Ames' tomahawk toss, Don Rickles breaks Johnny's cigarette box, Bob Hope's stand-up act about Johnny, the spoofs of Mr. Rogers, Walter Cronkite, and Tarzan, and many, many more. However, I wasn't even a year old when Johnny retired, so I didn't get to see him on NBC. But I have DVDs featuring highlights of his show which are hilarious. They ought to show reruns on E or TV Land or somewhere. I mean this is the King of Late Night, the Silver Fox,America's King of Comedy for 30 years. As my title of this review says, "Funny+Awesome+Classic=Johnny Carson." No matter what anyone says no one will be better than Johnny. No one! Not at all!
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