Tue, 05/22/2012

One More For the Road: The Finale of "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson"

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

On May 22, 1992, Johnny Carson's record-setting thirty-year reign as host of The Tonight Show came to an end. Carson took over The Tonight Show from predecessor Jack Paar on October 1, 1962, and over the next three decades delighted the world with "Carnac the Magnificent" skits, the wedding of Tiny Tim, and the national debuts of young comics Garry Shandling and Jerry Seinfeld. Carson left The Tonight Show on May 22, 1992, and many would argue that every late-night host since has been trying to fill his shoes.

Bette Midler was a regular on the program, and appeared as the last guest on Carson's Tonight Show. Writer Bruce Vilanch recalls crafting that memorable moment:

Many of our interviewees worked on or appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Have a look as they reflect upon the show's thirty-year run and gracious host.

Sidekick Ed McMahon on the legacy of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Ernest Borgnine on working with Johnny Carson:

Keenen Ivory Wayans on his Tonight Show debut:

Phyllis Diller on getting booked on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Learn more about The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at our show page.