David Letterman hosted this popular late-night comedy/talk-show. Often, Dave would go on location or to the phone lines to play pranks. Some famous features of the show include the "Top Ten... See full summary »
After several guest hosting appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Dave was given his own morning talk-show. This show included a full orchestra, news breaks, and a cast of ... See full summary »
In September 1983, Joan Rivers was officially designated Carson's permanent guest host, a role she had been filling for more than a year. In 1986, she abruptly left for her own show, The Late Show (1986), on the then-new Fox Network. Carson first learned of the show when he saw her press conference on TV. When Rivers called Carson after the announcement, he was so furious at Rivers for failing to tell him personally before the press conference that he refused to take the call. He banned Rivers from his show, canceling her 3 remaining weeks as guest host. Carson never forgave her for leaving, and never spoke to her again. When Rivers sent Carson flowers and a note after his son Ricky died in an accident, Carson sent them back. Rivers later said that she didn't want to tell Carson before the press conference because she was afraid FOX would cancel the deal if word leaked out. Carson said he felt betrayed, not because Rivers dared to compete with him, but because she wasn't honest with him about her intentions and didn't ask for advice and his blessing. See more »
[from his last show - May 22, 1992]
And so it has come to this. I am one of the lucky people in the world. I found something that I always wanted to do and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.
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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 »
As great as Steve Allen and Jack Paar were, Carson took the ball, reshaped it, and sent it in for a shot heard round the world. There is a reason he hosted the show for 30 years, 4 times longer than his 2 predacessors behind him. He was brilliant at making anyone seem interesting. Steve could do it, and so could Jack (though not as well from what I've seen), but Johnny really had a grasp of finding the way to question people to fit their response style. He really was the first true King of Late Night. If others say it's Paar or Allen, then I say Carson became Emporer!
The skits were done cheaply, but they were so much fun, you laughed with them, not at them.
Originally, the Carson's show was 90 minutes, and it was trimmed to 60 in the early 80's since he felt he could not keep the level up like he had in the past, which made the way for David Letterman. Thank You Johnny!
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