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 »
[Ed is laughing to himself]
Karnack is attempting to divine an answer and you're sitting here, giggling. May I have silence, please?
Of course. You've had it many times before.
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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 »
Carson and company helped lay the foundation for contemporary topical humor in the US. From '62 to '92, the most significant pitches for movies, books and live appearances on the part of actors, authors, politicians and every other kind of luminary came before America and the world at Carson's desk. This show probably experienced an unrepeatable level of success.
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