Johnny Carson

From ArticleWorld

John William "Johnny" Carson was an American comedian, actor, and writer who reached stardom as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Early Life

Carson was born on October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa. He joined the Navy and then graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1949. Carson got his start on television and radio in his home state of Nebraska before moving to Los Angeles to CBS. His sketch comedy show, Carson’s Cellar was aired on CBS and the well known comic Red Skelton talked Carson into writing for his comedy show. In 1954, Carson had to step in for Skelton at the last minute and-the legend began. Other shows Carson hosted before The Tonight Show include two game shows and a variety show.

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Carson began hosting NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' in 1962 with co-host Ed McMahon. The shows began with a brief comedic monologue by Carson, some comedy sketches, interviews, and then music. When The Tonight Show began it was produced in New York City and was not a live broadcast. After moving to California in 1972, Carson began doing only four shows a week, with one show going to a guest host. Joan Rivers took the spot for her own as the "permanent" guest host, until she was fired in 1986 for accepting a competing show with another network. After Rivers left, Jay Leno became the most frequent and later another "permanent". Many actors and comedians got their start on Carson’s show, and appearing on the show was their big break.

Carson retired on May 22, 1922 and the spot of host was given to Jay Leno. He won a total of six Emmy Awards and was inducted as a member to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. He was also awarded the George Foster Peabody Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Kennedy Center Honors.