Johnny Carson

Talk Show Host

Born: 23 October 1925
Died: 23 January 2005 (emphysema)
Birthplace: Corning, Iowa
Best known as:

Longtime host of TV's The Tonight Show

Johnny Carson was host of TV's The Tonight Show for nearly 30 years, from 1962 to 1992. By the end of that run he had become a national institution, famous for his nightly monologues, superstar guests, and witty byplay with sidekick Ed McMahon. Carson's popularity was so great that he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1987, years before his retirement. The Tonight Show won a string of Emmys and a Peabody Award for excellence during Carson's tenure. His last show was broadcast on May 22, 1992; the next night he was replaced by Jay Leno. Carson is often credited with inspiring the next generation of TV comedians, including Leno, David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld.

Extra credit:

Carson's bandleader was Doc Severinsen... Carson hosted the annual Academy Awards telecast for many years... Before beginning The Tonight Show, Carson was the host of a daytime game show called Who Do You Trust?... It's true: pop musician Tiny Tim married his wife Miss Vicki on Carson's show on December 17, 1969... Carson was a prominent investor in the DeLorean Motor Company... Bette Midler's sentimental serenade to Carson on his final show has become a famous TV moment... Carson, a longtime smoker, announced in September 2002 that he was suffering from emphysema; he died of the disease in January 2005.

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