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Posts tagged as johnny carson

When Johnny Carson Just Didn't Know What to Make of Weird Al

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

I feel like every article written about "Weird Al" Yankovic since, oh, let's say 2001, begins with a thesis statement that basically amounts to [...]

David Spade Relives His First 'Tonight Show' Standup Performance

Probably the only thing worse than not getting invited over to Johnny Carson's desk after a standup set is getting invited but being too nervous and confused to go over. That's exactly what happened to David Spade many years ago on his very first Tonight Show appearance, which he got to painfully relieve with Jimmy Fallon last night.

Johnny Carson Would Probably Approve of 'The Tonight Show's Move Back to New York

February's issue of Vanity Fair includes a new profile of late night legend Johnny Carson and gives particular focus to the Tonight Show host's 1972 move from New York to Los Angeles. It's a fascinating read about a man who Nora Ephron called "New York's most reluctant celebrity" and paints a hopeful picture for the Tonight Show's move back to its original New York City home. Here's an excerpt from the piece:

"When he moved to L.A. he was very, very concerned that it was a creative mistake," recalls David Steinberg, who began his long and successful career as a comedian on The Tonight Show in 1968, when it [...]

Looking at the Best Late Night Appearances By Other Late Night Hosts

Before he took over The Tonight Show, Jay Leno was famously one of the best guests on Late Night with David Letterman. Leno intuitively knew what Letterman needed from a guest – he was funny and prolific, making it easy on his host. For that reason, late night hosts make excellent guests, and with so many new shows popping up, there are even more opportunities for late night hosts to mix. Here's a look at some of the best late night appearances by other late night hosts, from David Letterman on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show to a baby Jimmy Fallon dropping by Conan's Late Night

NBC Is Developing a Miniseries About Johnny Carson's Life

NBC announced this morning that they're developing a miniseries about the life of late night king Johnny Carson, who passed away in 2005. The untitled miniseries will be based on author Bill Zehme's upcoming biography, Carson the Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait, and the actor playing Johnny Carson has yet to be announced. The NBC project will follow Carson's life from his Nebraska childhood to his historic run as Tonight Show host from 1962 to 1992. The peacock network's announcement also says the miniseries will cover, "his often secluded off-camera life and friendships he made throughout his career as one of the most beloved TV personalities of all time." Given how [...]

Learn How to Do a Perfect Johnny Carson Impersonation with Dana Carvey

SNL alum Dana Carvey was recently a guest on Tom Green Live, and he took a few minutes to walk Green through how he does his flawless Johnny Carson impersonation. Click through to watch Carvey run through some of his other best known celebrity impersonations, including Jimmy Stewart, Regis Philbin, and both of the President Bush guys.

David Brenner Tells His Life Story

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

Earlier this month we lost legendary stand-up comic David Brenner. Since that time, much has been written about the man, favorite jokes have [...]

What I've Learned About Comedy From Two Years of Hanging in the Archives

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

When I started writing this column a little over two years ago, my intentions were pretty straight-forward: turn the time I was spending at the [...]

Fun Thing to Buy of the Day: The Tell-All Biography 'Johnny Carson'

Most people know Carson as the enigmatic personality who hosted The Tonight Show through some of America’s most revolutionary decades. As the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and other radicalizing events took tide, Carson permeated the American conscious though the TV set. At the peak of his career, Carson’s lawyer and best friend — author Henry Bushkin — knew the recluse Johnny Carson that lived after the cameras stopped rolling. In fact, Bushkin’s explosive, tell-all biography depicts Carson for who he really was: the womanizing, emotional, pistol-packing and at times cruel King of Late Night. Buskhin’s amusing yet unsettling anecdotes about Carson’s run-ins with the mob, [...]

Strolling Through Johnny Carson's Vault via DVD

Usually here at From the Archives, the titular archives refers to the incredibly vast one at the Paley Center, but this week we’re going to be dipping into a different, equally vast archive: Johnny Carson’s. During one of his many contract negotiations with NBC over the years, Johnny negotiated the ownership rights to all of his episodes of The Tonight Show, and all 3,300 hours of this material exists in the Carson Archives, deep in a subterranean salt mine, beneath Hutchinson, Kansas. Of course every episode of Carson’s show isn’t there. The first ten years of Johnny’s career encountered a problem that we’ve seen several times in this column [...]

Carson, Letterman, and Stewart: Three Early Failures and the Lessons Learned From Them

In 1995 David Letterman was the king of late night. Johnny Carson had retired three years earlier, and while Jay Leno had higher ratings, Letterman won the Emmys and the respect of critics and viewers. Wearing a blazer and holding a lit cigar, Letterman sat next to Jon Stewart on the final episode of his cancelled MTV program: The Jon Stewart Show. They discussed Letterman’s career, Stewart’s future, and cancellation. Letterman told Stewart, “Cancellation should not be confused with failure.”

In the last 50 years, three of the most popular talk show hosts have had shows that were cancelled before they hit their stride. Carson, Letterman, and Stewart were given [...]

Back to Nebraska with Johnny Carson

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

I've no doubt discussed in more than one of these articles how big a star Johnny Carson was. Back in the days of three [...]

Examining Johnny Carson's Humble Beginnings in the Cellar

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

In his new biography called simply Johnny Carson, the titular talk show hosts' long-time lawyer, Henry Bushkin, describes the ins and outs of Johnny's [...]

NBC Says It Won't Make the Johnny Carson Miniseries Without His Family's Approval

NBC's announced miniseries about the life of Johnny Carson will only go forward if the Carson's family is on board with the series, according to the Hollywood Reporter. NBC purchased the rights to the yet-to-be-published Carson biography Carson the Magnificent by Bill Zehme. The book was announced shortly after Carson's death in 2005, but after several postponements, no release date has even been set. Carson's nephew Jeff Sotzing, who runs the Johnny Carson Entertainment Group, says he won't give approval for the miniseries until he sees Zehme's book. And NBC, where Carson served as Tonight Show host from 1962 to 1992, is waiting for the family's blessing.

"We're not going to do this without [...]