It’s Tonight Show Day: Who’s Your Favorite Host?
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I think most of you will probably say the guy that I choose.
On this day, September 27, back in 1954, The Tonight Show debuted.
As many of you know, it didn’t start out with Johnny Carson as the host. Steve Allen and Jack Paar preceded his reign.
But it was the King of Late Night who has had the longest run so far. The incomparable Carson took control of the show for 30 seasons (from 1962 to 1992).
I’ll always think of The Tonight Show as Johnny’s, because in my mind, he was the best. And those who know me know that seldom do I choose a “best” anything or anyone.
But there was something about Johnny’s impishness, his wit, his ability to laugh at himself, his charm, his deadpan expressions, his playfulness, his graciousness, his respect for his guests and audience, his intelligence, his civility in general, and his enormous talent that won so many of us over.
I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten over his departure, no disrespect meant to Jay Leno or for that matter, Conan O’Brien.
There are other really good hosts of late night comedy/talk shows, and I admire pretty much all of them.
But my first love was Johnny, and you never forget your first love.
If you grew up with him like I did, is Johnny still The King of Late Night in your heart?