- The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
show_name = The Tonight Show
Starring Johnny Carson
Talk show Variety show
runtime = 105 minutes
Sylvester L. Weaver Jr.
country = USA
October 1, 1962
May 22, 1992
num_episodes = 4531
preceded_by = "Tonight Starring Jack Paar" (1957–1962)
followed_by = "
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
scheduled to end 2009)
imdb_id = 0055708
tv_com_id = 10019|
"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" was a late-night talk show hosted by
Johnny Carsonunder the "Tonight Show" franchise from 1962 to 1992.
For its first ten years, Carson's "Tonight Show" was based in
New York City, with occasional trips to Burbank, California; in May 1972, the show moved permanently to Burbank. "The Tonight Show" has continued to this day under a largely identical structure with Jay Lenoas host.
The show's announcer and Carson's sidekick was
Ed McMahon, who from the very first show would introduce Carson with a drawn-out "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" (something McMahon was inspired to do by the over-emphasized way he had introduced reporter Robert Pierrepointon the NBC Radio show "Monitor"). McMahon, who had served the same purpose for Carson's ABC game show " Who Do You Trust?" for five years previously, would remain standing to the side as Carson did his monologue, laughing (sometimes obsequiously) at his jokes, then join him at the guest chair when Carson moved to his desk. The two would usually interact in a comic spot for a short while before the first guest was introduced, sometimes just ribbing each other about Carson's alleged excessive vanity, or McMahon's alleged excessive drinking.cquote|Unless it appeared as if I was doing it....If I was going to play second fiddle, I wanted to be the Heifetz of second fiddlers....The most difficult thing for me to learn how to do was just sit there with my mouth closed. Many nights I'd be listening to Johnny and in my mind I'd reach the same adlib just as he said it. I'd have to bite my tongue not to say it out loud. I had to make sure I wasn't too funny—although critics who saw some of my other performances will claim I needn't have worried. If I got too many laughs, I wasn't doing my job; my job was to be part of a team that generated the laughs.
Bandleaders and others
"The Tonight Show" had a live band for nearly all of its existence. The NBC Orchestra during Carson's reign was led by
Skitch Henderson, followed briefly by Milton DeLugg. Starting in 1967 and continuing until Jay Lenotook over, the band was led by Doc Severinsen, with Tommy Newsomfilling in for him when he was absent or filling in for McMahon as the announcer (which usually happened when a guest host substituted for Carson, which usually gave McMahon the night off as well).
Behind the scenes, Fred de Cordova joined "The Tonight Show" in 1970 as producer, graduating to
executive producerin 1984.
Recurring segments and skits
Carnac the Magnificent, in which Carson played a psychic who clairvoyantly divined the answer to a question contained in a sealed envelope. This was to some degree a variation on Steve Allen's recurring "The Question Man" sketch. The answer was always an outrageous pun. "Carnac" examples:
Billy Graham, Virginia Grahamand Lester Maddox" ... "Name two Grahams and a Cracker!"
**"Over 105 in Los Angeles" ... "Under the Reagan plan, how old do you have to be to collect
**"Debate" ... "What do you use to catch de fish?"
**"Camelot" ... "Where do Arabians park their camels?"
**"Frathouse" ... "What do you call a
Japanese home struck by a meteor?"
**"Ghotbzadeh" ... "What do Iranian men do when their wives refuse them by night?"
**"S. I. Hayakawa!" ... "Describe the sound made by a man getting his zipper caught in a Waring blender."
**"Dippedy Doo!" ... "What forms on your Dippedy early in the morning?"
The Carnac joke that garnered the biggest laugh, and Ed McMahon's personal favorite, as he discussed on several talk shows:
Sis boom bah" ... "Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes."
If the laughter fell short for a too-lame pun (as it often did), "Carnac" would face the audience with mock seriousness and bestow a comic curse: "May a diseased yak befriend your sister!" or "May a rabid holyman bless your nether regions with a power tool!"
Floyd R. Turbo", a dimwitted yokel responding to a TV station editorial. Floyd always spoke haltingly, as though reading from cue cards, and railed against some newsworthy topic, like Secretaries' Day: "This raises the question: kiss my Dictaphone!"
* "Art Fern", the fast-talking host of a "Tea Time Movie" program, who advertised inane products, assisted by the attractive Matinee Lady, played by
Paula Prentiss(late 1960s), Carol Wayne(the most familiar Matinee Lady, 1971-82), Danuta Wesley (1984), and Teresa Ganzel(1985-92). The fake movies Art would introduce usually had eclectic casts ("Ben Blue, Red Buttons, Jesse White, and Karen Black") and nonsensical titles ("Rin-Tin-Tin Gets Fixed Fixed Fixed"), followed by a four-second stock film clip before coming back for another commercial. :Anchor|Slauson cutoffOn giving directions to a fake store he was touting, he would show a spaghetti-like road map, sometimes with a literal " fork in the road", other times making the joke, "Go to the Slauson Cutoff...", and the audience would recite with him, "...cut off your Slauson!" The character was previously named "Honest Bernie Schlock" and then "Ralph Willie" when the Tea Time sketches first aired in the mid to late 1960s. At least one surviving pre-1972 Art Fern sketch that originated from New York had its movie show title as "The Big Flick", an amalgam of two movie show titles in use at the time by New York station WOR-TV, "The Big Preview" and "The Flick". On that sketch Lee Meredithwas the Matinee Lady.
* "Aunt Blabby", an old woman whose appearance and speech pattern bore more than a passing resemblance to comedian
Jonathan Winters' character "Maude Frickert". A frequent theme would be McMahon happening to mention a word or phrase that could suggest death, as in "What tourist attractions did you check out?," to which Aunt Blabby would respond, "Never say "check out" to an old person!"
* "El Mouldo", mysterious mentalist. He would announce some mind-over-manner feat and always fail, although triumphantly shouting "El Mouldo has done it again!" Ed McMahon would take exception, noting El Mouldo's failure. "Did I fail before?" asked El Mouldo. "Yes!," replied McMahon, to which El Mouldo said, "Well, I've done it again!"
* "Stump the Band", where studio audience members ask the band to try to play obscure songs given only the title. Unlike when this routine was done during the
Jack Paaryears with the Jose Melisband, Doc's band almost never knew the song, but that did not stop them from inventing one on the spot. Example::Guest's request: "My Dead Dog Rover":Doc Severinsen, singing: "My dead dog Rover / lay under the sun / and stayed there all summer / until he was done!"
* "The Mighty Carson Art Players" (depending on one's point of view, the name was an obvious tribute to or ripoff of radio legend
Fred Allen's Mighty Allen Art Players), which spoofed news, movies, television shows, and commercials.:Example: Johnny, dressed as a doctor, starting to talk about some intimate topic (just as in the real ad) and then being hit by cream pies from several directions at once.
* "The Edge of Wetness", in which Johnny would read humorous plot summaries of a fictional
soap opera(such as " The Edge of Night") while the camera panned the audience, stopping on an unsuspecting audience member who Carson claimed was, for example, the butler from the soap.
*October 1962–December 1966: Monday–Friday 11:15 p.m.–1:00 a.m.
When Carson took over from
Jack Paar, he inherited a show that was 105 minutes long. The show was structured to have what appeared to be two openings, with one starting at 11:15 p.m. and including the monologue, and another which listed the guests and announced the host again, starting at 11:30. The two openings gave affiliates the option of having either a fifteen-minute or thirty-minute local news show preceding Carson. Since 1959, the show had been videotaped earlier the same broadcast day.
As more affiliates introduced thirty minutes of local news, Carson's monologue was being seen by fewer people. To rectify this situation, from February 1965 to December 1966,
Ed McMahonand Skitch Hendersonbegan to co-host the first fifteen minutes of the show without Carson, who then took over at 11:30.
*January 1965–September 1966: Saturday or Sunday 11:15–1:00 a.m. (reruns)
*September 1966–September 1975: Saturday or Sunday 11:30–1:00 a.m. (reruns)
*January 1967–September 1980: Monday–Friday 11:30 p.m.–1:00 a.m.
*September 1980–May 1991: Monday–Friday 11:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m.
Carson influenced the scheduling of reruns in the mid-1970s and, later in 1980, the length of each evening's broadcast by threatening NBC with, in the first case, moving to another network, and in the latter, retiring altogether. In order to enable a shorter work week for himself, Carson began to petition network executives in
1974that reruns on the weekends be discontinued, in favor of showing them on one or more nights during the week. In response to his demands, NBC began planning a new comedy/variety series to feed to affiliates on Saturday nights that debuted in October 1975and is still airing as of 2008: " Saturday Night Live." Five years later, Carson renewed his contract with a stipulation that the show lose its last half hour; Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow" expanded to 90 minutes in order to fill the resulting schedule gap. Despite the fact that a year and a half later, "Tomorrow" gave way to the hour-long " Late Night with David Letterman" ( 1982- 1993; replaced by " Late Night with Conan O'Brien," also an hour in length), an hour remains the length of "Tonight" to this day.
*May 1991–May 1992: Monday–Friday 11:35 p.m.–12:35 a.m.
The show's start time was delayed by five minutes to allow NBC affiliates to include more commercials during their local newscasts.
1979-1980 contract battle
In 1979, when
Fred Silvermanwas the head of NBC, Carson took the network to court claiming that he had been a free-agent since April of that year because his most recent contract had been signed in 1972. Carson cited a California law barring certain contracts from lasting more than seven years. NBC claimed that they had signed three agreements since then, and Carson was therefore bound to the network until April 1981. [ cite news |title=Family Feud |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,947429,00.html |work=Time Magazine |date=1979-09-24 |accessdate=2007-08-07 ] While the case was settled out of court, [cite news |title=Rent-a-Judge |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,952989,00.html |work=Time Magazine |date=1981-04-20 |accessdate=2007-08-07 ] the friction between Carson and the network remained. Eventually, Carson reached an agreement to appear four nights a week but cut the show from 90 to 60 minutes. [ cite news |title=People |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924118,00.html |work=Time Magazine |date=1980-05-19 |accessdate=2007-08-07 ] In September 1980, Carson's eponymous production company gained ownership of the show. [cite book |last=Carter |first=Bill |title=The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night. |year=1994 |pages=p. 27 |publisher=Hyperion|location=New York, NY |isbn=0-7868-8907-1 ] ["Johnny Carson Calls This Man 'Bombastic' All the Way to Bank." "The Wall Street Journal", June 8, 1980, p. 14.]
Virtually all of the pre-1970 shows, including Carson's debut as host, were lost to history when, following standard procedure at the time, the extremely expensive videotapes were reused. It was rumored that many other episodes were lost in a fire, but NBC has denied this. Other surviving material from the era has been found on
kinescopes held in the archives of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, or in the personal collections of guests of the program, while a few moments such as Tiny Tim's wedding, were preserved. Longtime New York meteorologist Dr. Frank Field, an occasional guest during the years he was weather forecaster for WNBC, showed several clips of his appearances with Carson in a 2002 career retrospective on WWOR-TV; Field had maintained the clips in his own personal archives.
The program archive is virtually complete from 1973 to 1992. [Johnny Carson: The Official Tonight Show Website, [http://www.johnnycarson.com/carson/clip_licensing.jsp Clip Licensing] .]
A large amount of material from Carson's first two decades of the "Tonight Show" (1962–1982), (many of it not seen since its original airings) appeared in a half hour "clip/compilation" syndicated program known as "
Carson's Comedy Classics" which aired in 1983.
Although no footage is known to remain of Carson's first broadcast as host of "The Tonight Show" on
1 October 1962, photographs taken that night do survive, as does an audio recording of Carson's first monologue. One of his first jokes upon starting the show was to pretend to panic and say, "I want my Na-Na!" (This recording was played at the start of Carson's final broadcast.)
Thirty-minute audio recordings of many of these "missing" episodes are contained in the
Library of Congressin the Armed Forces Radio collection. Many 1970s-era episodes have been licensed to distributors of the sort that advertise mail order offers on late-night TV. The later shows are stored in an underground film archive in Kansas.
"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" had guest hosts each Monday for most of the show's run and sometimes for entire weeks during Johnny's frequent vacations. Various people served as guest host, some over fifty times. This list is the most frequent guest hosts of the first 21 years of the show's run; however, a complete list would have
Joan Rivers, Garry Shandlingand Jay Lenowell at the front, as they were the permanent guest hosts from 1983–1986, 1986–1987 and 1987–1992, respectively:
Joey Bishop(177 times, mostly in the 1960s)
*John Davidson (87)
David Brenner(70) (Was a guest on the show 158 times, more than anybody else, including Bob Hope)
Jerry Lewis(52, mostly in the 1960s)
David Steinberg(youngest person to host the show; appeared as a guest 130 times, third only to Bob Hope and David Brenner)
Carson himself had been an occasional guest host during the years when
Jack Paarwas the regular host, and Paar repeatedly claimed he had been the one to suggest to NBC that Carson replace him when he left the show in 1962.
Starting in September 1983, Joan Rivers was 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 on the then new Fox Network. This move — and her failure to inform him personally — infuriated Carson so much that he banned Rivers from his show, canceling even the three weeks of guest hosting she was scheduled to do in the remainder of the 1985-86 television season. Unfortunately for Rivers, her new show flopped and was quickly canceled, and she never appeared on the show with Carson again. In a
CNNinterview after Carson's death, Rivers revealed that Carson never spoke to her again, even on the occasion when Rivers confronted him in a Los Angeles restaurant.
The program of
July 26, 1984, with guest host Joan Rivers, was the first MTSstereo broadcast in U.S. television history; [But not the first television broadcast with stereo sound; see Stereophonic sound.] however, only the New York City affiliate of NBC had stereo broadcast capability at that time. [Peter W. Kaplan, "TV Notes", "New York Times", July 28, 1984, sec. 1, p. 46.] NBC transmitted "The Tonight Show" in stereo sporadically through 1984, and on a regular basis beginning in 1985.
Carson’s last shows
As his impending retirement approached, Carson tried to avoid too much sentimentality, but would periodically show clips of some of his favorite moments and revisit with some of his favorite guests.
But no one was quite prepared for Carson's next-to-last night, where he hosted his final guests,
Robin Williamsand Bette Midler. Williams was in top form with his manic energy and stream-of-consciousness lunacy. Midler, in contrast, found the emotional vein of the farewell. After the topic of their conversation turned to Johnny's favorite songs ("I'll Be Seeing You" and " Here's That Rainy Day"), Midler mentioned she knew a chorus of the latter. She began singing the song, and after the first line, Carson joined in and turned it into a touching impromptu duet. Midler finished her appearance when, from center stage, she slowly sang the pop standard " One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)." Carson became unexpectedly tearful, and a shot of the two of them was captured by a camera angle from across the set which had never been used before. This penultimate show was immediately recognized as a television classic, and Midler would win an Emmy Award for her role in it.
Carson did not have guests on his final episode of "The Tonight Show". An estimated 50 million people watched this retrospective show, which ended with him sitting on a stool alone on the stage, curiously similar to
Jack Paar's last show. He gave these final words of goodbye:
During his final speech, Carson told the audience that he hoped to return to television with another project and that hopefully "will meet with your approval", and a few weeks after the final show aired it was announced that NBC and Carson had struck a deal to develop a new series, but ultimately he chose never to return to television with another show of his own. He only gave two major interviews after retiring. One was in 1993, another in 2002. Carson hinted in the December 1993 interview which was with
Tom Shalesof the " Washington Post" that he did not think he could top what he had already accomplished.
Carson appeared briefly on
Bob Hope's 90th birthday special on NBC and did a voiceover as himself on " The Simpsons" on Fox, both in May 1993. He spoke to David Lettermanvia telephone on Letterman's "Late Show" on CBSin November 1993. Carson followed that with an appearance on the Kennedy Center Honorson CBS in December 29, 1993 to receive a lifetime achievement award; He was the first person to receive the honor for working in the field of television. He never spoke and only sat in the balcony with President and Mrs. Clinton and the other honorees. During Letterman's week of shows in Los Angeles on CBS in May 1994, Carson passed by in a car during a skit early in the week and then walked onto the set on a later show to hand Dave the Top Ten list. He never spoke, citing laryngitisafterward, but received a long standing ovation from the live audience. It was Carson's last television appearance ever. A few months before Carson's death, Letterman announced that Carson had been sending jokes to the show in the last several years.
Johnny Carson died of complications from
emphysemaon January 23, 2005at age 79.
Anecdotes and trivia
* Carson's announcer and first guest on his first "Tonight Show" as regular host on
October 1 1962, was Groucho Marx, who had been one of many substitute hosts in the nine months following the departure of Jack Paar.
* No video of Carson's first appearance on "The Tonight Show" is known to exist. However, an audio recording of the broadcast has been played on television. Carson began his first monologue reacting to the applause by saying "Boy, you'd think it was Vice President Nixon", and later crying "I want my na-na!"
* Perhaps the most celebrated example of Johnny being quick-on-his feet was the "
Ed Amestomahawk" incident on April 29, 1965. This was a black-and-white kinescopefilm clip thankfully saved from the New York years, and typically played every year on the anniversary show. Ames was then playing an American Indian on the "Daniel Boone" TV series, starring Fess Parker. Ames was attempting to demonstrate how to throw a hatchet in the air to hit a target, the outline of a cowboy on a piece of plywood. The throw hit the figure in the crotch, and the audience burst into laughter and applause. Ames instinctively started to go retrieve the hatchet, but Carson smoothly held him back. When the laughter had almost died down, Carson remarked, "I didn't even know you were Jewish!" and the audience burst into applause again.
* One memorable "Tonight Show" episode featured
Charles Nelson Reillyperforming " Hamlet", as featured in the 2006 motion picture, "The Life of Reilly", [ [http://www.charlesnelsonreilly.com The Official Site of Charles Nelson Reilly The Life of Reilly opens November 9, 2007 ] ] a film of the life story of Mr. Reilly. Reilly was a frequent guest of Johnny's, appearing in over 100 episodes.
George Carlinwas a frequent guest on "The Tonight Show", so when the debut of " Saturday Night Live" was in preparation there was supposedly an agreement that "SNL"'s producers would not have Carlin on their show. As it happened, Carlin appeared on the very first airing of "SNL". Johnny Carson was incensed over this, and when he asked why Carlin had been hired, he was told "because he is punctual and fills out forms well."
* Zoologists such as
Joan Emberyof the San Diego Zooand Jim Fowlerof "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" were recurring guests who would bring with them often exotic animals that he could interact with to comedic effect. In one frequently-shown clip, he leaned over a little too closely to the cage of a panther, which swiped its claws at him. Carson ran across the stage and jumped into Ed McMahon's arms.
* Carson and
Paul Ankaare both credited with co-writing " Johnny's Theme", the well-known title music for his show. Anka later revealed that although he wrote the theme alone, Carson and his management asked for a 50% cut of the song's publishing in exchange for choosing it as the theme song. Both men collected millions of dollars on the arrangement. The tune itself, when played by the studio band, was typically truncated and finished by " Shave and a Haircut".
*"The Tonight Show" received an enormous audience on
December 17, 1969, when Tiny Tim married Miss Vickiduring the show. It is the 2nd-highest rated episode of "The Tonight Show", behind only Carson's final episode.
September 21, 1982, comedian Charlie Callaswas having difficulty generating laughs, so in desperation he leaned over and shoved Carson while mimicking a bee-like buzzing sound. Carson was so annoyed by this that he banned Callas from his show on the spot. Callas had been a "The Tonight Show" favorite for over a decade, often appearing four and five times a year. Callas spent the last few moments of the show pleading with Carson to be invited back. Callas was never seen on "The Tonight Show" again.
* In 1973, Carson had a legendary run-in with popular
psychic Uri Gellerwhen he invited Geller to appear on his show. Carson, an experienced stage magician, wanted a neutral demonstration of Geller's alleged abilities, so, at the advice of his friend and fellow magician James Randi, he prepared a table of props, including spoons, film canisters (one of which was filled with water) and other objects, without allowing Geller or his manager access to them beforehand. He asked Geller to perform with them, i.e. bending the spoons or determining which canister was filled with water. Geller proved unable to do so, and that appearance has since been regarded as the beginning of Geller's fall from glory.
* In 1987, Carson and Randi joined forces again to expose
faith healing televangelist Peter Popoffby playing a video of Popoff receiving information from his wife through radio transmission to his "hearing aid" about "healed" followers at meetings, then crediting them as a Godly vision. Funds to Popoff's television ministry dropped soon after.
* A monologue tradition evolved over the years in which Carson would say a phrase in his monologue such as "It was so (hot/cold/dark/etc.)...". and someone in the audience would invariably call out, "How ---- was it?" which would set up Carson's rejoinder "It was so ----, that ...." and complete the joke. On one occasion Johnny said "It was so hot today." To which the audience predictably shouted out "How hot was it?" And Johnny just smiled and said; "It was just worth the trip in wasn't it?". Referring to the fact that it was worth it just to hear the audience go for the set-up and yet Johnny did not deliver the punchline. The "How ---- was it?" routine would later be used in tribute by later late night hosts and, most notably, by
Gene Rayburn(himself a former "Tonight Show" announcer and guest host) in the Match Gameseries.
* Occasionally, off-color language would sneak into jokes and discussion. Rather than simply bleep the offending words, the tape would instead be garbled, making it sound as if Johnny (or whomever) momentarily spoke
gibberish. One notable example of this occurred when a Carnac skit flopped one night. After yet another joke failed, Carson uttered "holy shit" and played up the moment by trying to carry his desk offstage. Television viewers, however, instead heard the words "holy palooga." One rare exception to this self-censorship occurred during a stunt Carson participated in that involved him being suspended high above the stage. At one point, however, Carson was unexpectedly dropped several feet (part of the stunt) and Carson, caught off guard, shouted "Shit!" This was not censored and later in the broadcast, Carson apologized for his language. Skeptic and friend James Randi, in an interview with Penn and Tellerfor the 1st Season DVD of " Bullshit!", told of a time when Carson had the reverend Peter Popoffon his show. When a clip played of how Popoff pulled off his psychic tricks, Randi claims Carson said a "very harsh word, even worse than the title of your show " [Bullshit!] "." And on the penultimate show in 1992, Robin Williams spoke of his then infant son, saying rather quietly that the boy had "incredibly huge cojones"; he then emphasized the point by shouting "As we say, big balls!" In post production, editors covered the outburst "balls" with the mildly-spoken "cojones", leaving a remarkably obvious edit. Following this, Carson nonchalantly made the observation "Well, we're outta here tomorrow night. What do I care??", which garnered a huge laugh from the audience and Williams himself.
* One of the more memorable moments during Carson's stint as "Tonight Show" host came in 1987, when elderly
Myrtle Young("the potato chiplady") was invited to show off her collection of chips that resembled animals and famous people. While Young was distracted by McMahon, Carson crunched on a chip — not from her collection, but from a bowl beside his desk. Young turned back towards Carson with a horrified expression, but saw nothing missing; she sighed with apparent relief when Carson showed her the bowl. He then apologized for the joke.
* One running gag was with a guest known as
Stan Kann, a person who collected unusual antique machines and gadgets, which he would demonstrate on the show. Stan Kann would appear so nervous and flustered that he could never get the gadgets to work, and after the first appearance or two there was more humor in Stan Kann getting nervous than in his machines.
* On one episode with
Lola Falanaas guest, Falana suddenly said "Johnny, I've always wanted to do this." She then got up and walked to the opposite side of the desk from where the guests usually were and sat on Johnny's desk. The camera angle suddenly went to a camera at far stage left behind Falana, an angle almost never used. Falana was shown from the back, but you could see Johnny's face. Falana did something in front of Johnny, and he got rather bug-eyed and flushed. The TV audience was left to wonder what happened, but some speculated that Falana bared her breasts in Johnny's face.
* For a number of years, Carson would do live lead-ins to many of the commercials. Often they would consist of the product's slogan. The slogan for
Smucker'sjams was, "With a name like Smucker's it has to be good." One night, Carson made a change to the slogan: "With a name like Smucker's it better be good!"
* Ed McMahon's standard introduction to Carson ("Heeeer'es Johnny!) was used by Jack Nicholson in an oft-replayed clip from "
* [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/T/htmlT/tonightshow/tonightshow.htm The Tonight Show] from the
Museum of Broadcast Communicationswebsite
* [http://www.johnnycarson.com/ Carson's official "Tonight Show" website]
* [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms003017 Register of His Papers] in the
Library of Congress
*imdb title|id=0055708|title=The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
* [http://www.esquire.com/features/articles/2005/050124_mfe_012405_mfe_carson_1.html The Man Who Retired] a June 2002 "Esquire" article also available [http://www.johnnycarson.com/carson/pop/press/press_03.jsp here]
* [http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/23/carson.obit/ Johnny Carson, late-night TV legend, dies at 79] , a January 2005
* [http://www.newyorker.com/archive/content/?050124fr_archive03 A profile of Carson] in "
The New Yorker" from 1978
* [http://www.stankann.com/ Stan Kann] Vacuum Collector, frequent guest on Tonight Show
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