There was a six-month gap between Jack Paar leaving "The Tonight Show" in 1962 and Johnny Carson replacing him as the show's host. In the interim, NBC had various celebrities guest host. During that time, musician Tommy Newsom was hired to play the alto sax in the band. He remained with the band, occasionally taking over bandleader duties when Doc Severinsen was away, until Carson retired in 1992. Newsom's tenure on "The Tonight Show" was three months longer than Carson's. See more »
[from his last show - May 22, 1992]
[referring to his family in the audience and the death of Rick, his other son, in a car crash]
It would have been a perfect evening if their brother Rick had been here with us, but I guess life does what it's supposed to do and you accept it and go on.
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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 »
Select comedy sketches from the Tonight Show were taken and placed into syndication into "Carson's Comedy Classics" during the mid 1980's. 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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