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 »
Daytime, primetime, then late-night talk and variety show. Often there was only one guest (GA Gov. Lester Maddox walked out angrily during one interview). Cavett was intelligent and witty, ... See full summary »
In 1980 a showdown with NBC president Fred Silverman had Johnny use his ultimate power: He threatened to quit the show. That was all he needed to wring an unprecedented deal out of NBC. In addition to more than $5 million a year in salary, Carson got series commitments from the network for his production company, and--most importantly--gained ownership over the "Tonight" show. From then on everything Carson did on the show belonged not to NBC, but to him. In total, the deal was estimated at more than $50 million. No one in television had ever received anything close to that amount. In addition, at the same time Carson got something else he wanted--the show was cut down from 90 minutes to an hour starting September 16, 1980. See more »
[last lines of show]
You people watching, I can only tell you that it's been an honor and a privilege coming into your homes all these years to entertain you. And I hope when I find something I want to do and think you would like, I can come back and
[you will be]
as gracious in inviting me into your homes as you have been.
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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 »
Here's Johnny!!! - What did the Pearly Gatekeeper say when...
Here's Johnny!!! - What did the Pearly Gatekeeper say when...Johnny arrived there? There will never be another Johnny Carson. The entertainment he provided with the help of thousands of guests over 30 years will never be equaled by anyone. I don't even know that anyone can ever do justice to comment on one of the rare things that rates more than a 10 on a scale of 10 in our lifetimes.
Even before Johnny Carson died, a greater loss was when NBC lost most of his Tonight Shows from the 1960's. If only somebody could find these shows because these are the shows which made him number 1. They were 90 minutes each of Carson arriving at the top of his career. It has been forgotten how hard nosed an interviewer he was during that decade. Also lost are some of the most famous guests in show business during that era & the fact that he would have controversial guests on & face them on any subject during that era.
The greatest thing was Carson arrived at his peak in the 1960's & then amazingly stayed there for three decades. Thank goodness NBC didn't lose any of those other shows. How they got lost makes me wonder if they didn't want the tough hard-nosed Carson who was not afraid to face any guest remembered or if they wanted to lose some of the early images of Johnny smoking on air. I mean, NBC managed to archive all the Original LET'S MAKE A DEAL programs in the same era. Why not the Johnny Carson's?
I have the set of clips of his & every so often I turn them on. I taped his last show, & keep it in my archives. I wish somewhere, somehow, someplace those 1960's shows would show up. At least now that I've seen the best, I can only wish to see it again. We were all blessed to have had Johnny Carson.
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