Bill Maher once said that, “Everybody who ever has done a talk show should pay a royalty to Steve Allen.” Allen would probably have agreed. He was the first host of NBC’s Tonight Show, starting with a local New York version in 1953 and then launching the series nationally in September of 1954. David Letterman,
You can draw a straight line from Mort Sahl to Dave Chappelle. Fearless, contentious, uncompromising and sometimes his own worst enemy. The Montreal native died Oct 26 at his home near San Francisco. He was 94. His rise in the mid- to late- ’50s was so pronounced it seems as if he should be older.
One of the great late night talk show guests of all time was Charles Grodin. Who else was cocky enough to slump down next to Johnny Carson and ask if he cared at all about any of his guests? (As he does in the above clip from 1990.) The studio audience and viewers at home
If you’re a late night talk show fan, you’re not going to want to miss a second of The Story of Late Night. The six-part docuseries premieres Sunday night on CNN. As executive producer of the series, author and former New York Times TV columnist Bill Carter takes a deep dive into the genre, one
The King of Late Night, Johnny Carson, took his final Tonight Show bow 29 years ago next month, His band leader, the man behind the Tonight Show orchestra, kept right on going. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, he’d still be touring all over America, playing 40 weeks a year, killing it on an instrument
It’s a sad fact: many hours of TV history have been lost in order to make room on shelves for large, bulky videotapes. Among the most tragic examples are the first nine or ten seasons of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. The years in question are 1962 to roughly ’71, the New York years
Frequent visitors to this site will know that I collect TV shows on 16mm film. Older readers will remember this format from high school, when pizza-sized reels of film were threaded on a projector, the lights would go out and everybody took a quick nap. I stayed awake, and never lost my fascination with the
Peter Lassally worked as a producer on three important shows in late night: The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. A soft-spoken gentleman, he was in his office on Ferguson’s show six or seven years ago when I asked him what the three