The Tonight Show

NBC (ended 1957)


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The Tonight Show

Show Summary

Tonight began in June 1953 as a local show on WNBT-TV, the NBC flagship station in New York. Steve Allen was the original host, and remained with the show when it moved to the network 15 months later. Under Allen, Tonight was very informal. He would open each evening seated at the piano, chatting and playing some of his own compositions. He then went to his desk, where he talked about anything that seemed to interest him. There were guest stars, in addition to his semi- regulars, but the emphasis was on Steve and his comedic ad-libbing. The entire one hour and fourty five minute show was done live. When Allen's prime-time series premiered in the summer of 1956, he cut back his Tonight appearances to Wednesday through Friday. A series of guest hosts filled in on Mondays and Tuesdays until Ernie Kovacs took over as Monday-Tuesday host on October 1, 1956. When Steve Allen left in January 1957, Tonight was replaced by a totally different type of program called "Tonight! America After Dark." The show lasted six months with hosts Jack Lescoulie and Al Collins. The show was not successful with viewers or critics, so it was decided to return to a format closer to the original, thus The Jack Paar Show began. When Paar ended his run on March 30, 1962, The Tonight Show aired with a succession of substitute hosts, while awaiting the arrival of Johnny Carson on October 2, 1962. Carson remained the host for three decades until he turned the show over to Jay Leno on May 25, 1992.moreless

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    • jimmy fallon show

      not liking it too like watching saturday nite live 6 times a WANT TO say its a take on the tonight show with Johnny NOT he was on for 1 1/2 hrs back when he was doing extra stuff besides interviewing guest miss the interviews,thats what i watched it for,the latest on the celebs and their current endeavors. So now I watch Jimmy least he KNOWS how to interact w/o saying " hey lets play a game because i'm a competitive prick and i practiced it all week-end and i'm gonna bet you atmoreless
    • A good source of entertainment.

      The Tonight Show has always been a good source of late night entertainment. It has been funny for a long time starting with Johnny Carson and ending with Jay Leno. Personally, I think Johnny was better but that is just my take. My favorite bit in today's reality is Headlines. I think that it is really funny, but I doubt those are all real. Either way, it is a really funny bit and I like Jay walking as well. Leno does have some good bits I must say. Now that Connan is taking over sometime this year, I fear the show will not be as good. Thank you.moreless
    • When Johnny Carson died, the world lost a icon. In Jay Leno's words "Johnny was the best, plain and simple. If you were lucky enough to watch during Johnny's 30 year run, consider yourself lucky, because you won't be seeing the likes of him anymore"moreless

      When Johnny began the Tonight Show, he didn't think it would last more than a couple of years. He couldn't be more wrong, the show ran for an astounding 30 Years. For all those thirty years one man made it possible for Johnny, Ed McMahon. Johnny and Ed were friends, and if you watched the show, that friendship proved itself time and time again. No one made the late night television laugh as Johnny did. Leno, Letterman, and all the other late night hosts cannot compare. Johnny will always be the undisputed King of Latenight. Just as Muhammad Ali is the Champ, and Elvis Presley was the King. Johnny made us all laugh, and he still does.moreless
    • most people hate it now

      Most people hate it now but jay leno is funny too yes johnny was the best buy jay hes a nice guy. jay i really like his headlines im gonna cry when conan replaces him that will be crap conan's okay but hes no jay. watch this show if you like late nite shows i reccomend it.

    • The greatest late night show ever

      don't understand what's so bad about this show. I think it's the greatest late night show ever. And still is. They've got great actors and singers, the jokes are funny and about life in reality and Jay Leno delivers great performances. He only messed up once, when I guess he was tired. Otherwise, the greatest late night show ever. Airs on Monday-Friday at 11:35.