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October 9, 2015

Johnny Carson

Kevin Spacey Channels Johnny Carson, Interviews Jimmy Fallon (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Jan 5th 2011 5:30AM
Kevin Spacey Imitates Johnny Carson on 'Late Night'Though Kevin Spacey was the 'Late Night' (weeknights, 12:37AM ET on NBC) guest, Jimmy Fallon seemed more interested in watching the actor be other people -- namely Johnny Carson, and a bit of Jack Lemmon. Well, he is very good at it...

Spacey obliged, swapping seats with the host. "Jimmy, how the hell are ya?" he asked Fallon in pitch-perfect Carson tones. "Do you enjoy doing the show every night, is it fun?" Fallon answered, "We have a lot of fun guests, talented guests, like the great actor Kevin Spacey."

"Monologues can be tough, though, can't they?" said Spacey/Carson. "I just like sitting here watching you suffer."

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Dick Cavett Talks Helping Johnny Carson on 'The Late Late Show' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 21st 2010 5:31AM
Dick Cavett, 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson'Talk show hosts see a ton of people over the course of their careers. Venerable host Dick Cavett was a guest on 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' (Weeknights, 12:37AM on CBS), and he talked about how it can start to get to you. More specifically, it can make you think you're losing your mind.

He shared with Ferguson a story of Johnny Carson, wherein the former 'Tonight Show' host confided in Cavett that he feared he was losing his mind. "Do you ever forget who you had on?" he'd asked Cavett one night when he was still hosting. Cavett had hosted his own show off and on for decades already to this point.

To ease Carson's mind, Cavett told a story of a slip of his own. "I came home one night after one of my one-person shows," he said, indicating he'd only had one guest. When someone asked him who he'd had on shortly after taping had wrapped, Cavett couldn't recall.

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Bette Midler: Johnny Carson's Last 'Tonight' Is Career Highlight (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Dec 15th 2010 6:50AM
Bette Midler Talks Johnny Carson on 'Late Night'"It was the highlight of my performing career. It really was," Bette Midler told Jimmy Fallon of her appearance on Johnny Carson's last episode as host of 'The Tonight Show.' "I loved him, you know, I adored him ... He was so good to absolutely everybody that worked on his show," she said on 'Late Night' (weeknights, 12:37AM ET on NBC).

Midler and a few friends wrote a song for him ("You Made Me Watch You", a rework of 'You Made Me Love You'), part of which she performed on his desk. It was "a real tribute to him, because we all loved him and wanted to give him a good send-off." Fallon joked that he'd watched the episode "150,000 times" and called it "one of the greatest things I've ever seen ... You were funny but also touching."

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Conan O'Brien on Jay Leno: 'There's Nothing For Us to Talk About' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 14th 2010 6:08AM
Conan O'Brien on Jay Leno: 'There's Nothing For Us to Talk About' Someday, in the distant feature, TV viewers may still be talking about the Conan O'Brien vs. Jay Leno battle. Ages and ages hence, we might still be discussing the feud with a sigh -- talking about how two roads diverged, and about how two men feuded over the same talk show.

... But on 'Larry King Live' (weeknights, 9PM ET on CNN), Conan tried to emphasize that he was already over the whole 'Tonight Show' thing. When Larry King asked O'Brien if he had talked to Jay Leno recently, Conan made this reply: "No. ... There's nothing, really, for either of us to talk about."

So Conan was "over it" -- but was he over it in a "I don't want to think about it anymore" kind of way? Or has he made his peace with the whole affair?

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Five Presidential Impersonations on 'Late Night' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Oct 28th 2010 6:47AM
Five Presidential Impersonations on 'Late Night' (VIDEO)Legendary impressionist Rich Little appeared on 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (weeknights, 12:37AM ET on NBC). Host Jimmy Fallon is considered a great mimic in his own right -- he rose to fame after winning a celebrity impression contest in his senior year of high school.

But Fallon gave the master a shot, and showed Little a photo of five different American presidents -- whose voices he then had to imitate. How would Little do?

Before getting to that part, we should add that the last big event Little was involved in was a 2007 White House dinner. The comedian was hired after Stephen Colbert performed the previous year -- and shocked the crowd by being "edgy."

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Dana Carvey Channels Jay Leno, Johnny Carson on 'Late Show' (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Oct 28th 2010 6:00AM
Dana Carvey Does Carson, Leno Impressions on 'Late Show'When Dana Carvey appeared on 'Late Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on CBS), he teased David Letterman about being on vacation whenever he visits New York. "The guy out West -- he doesn't go on vacation." In mock Leno, he teased, "Why would you go on vacation, when you can tell jokes? ... Go to a beach and sweat? You could be telling a joke, doing a monologue!"

Carvey then mentioned another legendary late-night battle: Johnny Carson vs. Merv Griffin. "Carson hated Merv," Carvey said. In pitch-perfect Carson, he said, "I can't even stand looking at the [beep]." Letterman guffawed, and after the two exchanged stories on bypass surgery and their aging bodies, the host asked him to impersonate Carson again.

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Johnny Carson Goes Digital

by Gary Susman, posted Aug 11th 2010 2:40PM
Johnny Carson on 'The Tonight Show'Better late than never.

Johnny Carson's 30-year run as host of 'The Tonight Show' ended with his retirement in 1992, and he passed away in 2005, but he's finally back -- in digital form.

Some 3,500 hours of archival 'Tonight' clips, which were buried for decades in a Kansas salt mine (no, really!), have been digitized and uploaded into a searchable online archive, the New York Times reports.

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Johnny Carson 'Banned' Joan Rivers from Late-Night TV (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Jul 23rd 2010 5:50AM
Joan Rivers Talks About Johnny Carson on 'Late Night'Joan Rivers brought her late husband's ashes to the 'Late Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on CBS). "We were banned [from late-night TV] for so long, so I like to say, 'Look, we're back.'"

Technically she wasn't banned, but she got on Johnny Carson's blacklist. Years ago she was the permanent guest hostess who filled in for Carson on 'The Tonight Show.'

When she told him she was leaving to do her own (competing) show, "He slammed the phone down ... and never spoke to me again -- ever, ever, ever."

She hasn't been booked on the program since.


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Kelli Williams Talks About Selling Lemonade With Johnny Carson (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Jul 13th 2010 9:00PM
Kelli Williams Talks About Selling Lemonade With Johnny CarsonKelli Williams -- star of the drama 'Lie to Me' -- appeared on 'The Kilborn File' (weeknights, 7PM ET on Fox). There, she discussed her "normal" childhood, growing up in Beverly Hills as the daughter of an actress and a plastic surgeon.

Ms. Williams spoke of being a little kid in Hollywood, and having famous stars as her neighbors -- including Kenny Rogers, Sonny and Cher ... and Johnny Carson, who lived right across the street from her. Since tour buses stopped there to look at Johnny Carson's house, the young Ms. Williams opened up a business called "The Johnny Carson Lemonade Stand" -- in order to separate some of the tourists from their money.

The lemonade stand idea was Johnny Carson's own suggestion. While discussing the topic, host Craig Kilborn hinted that Johnny might have wanted a share of the profits from the lemonade. Ms. William neither confirmed nor denied this.

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Drew Carey Talks Living in His Car on 'Lopez Tonight' (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Jun 1st 2010 5:13AM
Drew Carey Talks Living in His Car on 'Lopez Tonight'The standard rags-to-riches Hollywood story often begins with actors and comedians scraping by through bar and restaurant work. But Drew Carey paid his dues with an unconventional living arrangement, he explained on 'Lopez Tonight' (weeknights, 11PM ET on TBS).

Long before 'The Drew Carey Show' and hosting 'The Price Is Right,' Carey rented out his Cleveland house and hit the road for Los Angeles. Once he got there, he said, "I lived out of my car for 18 months ... My goal was to get back and do 'The Tonight Show.'"

When that day came, host Johnny Carson called him over to the couch after performing his stand-up routine. "[It] made my whole career, and that's why I'm where I am today."

But Carey was quick to note some other comedians who got a career boost from Carson -- namely, the one sitting across from him.

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Ex-'Tonight Show' Host Conan O'Brien Vents On '60 Minutes'

by Allison Waldman, posted May 2nd 2010 8:55PM
conan_o'brien_nbc_beard_close_upFor the first time since the end of his tenure on 'The Tonight Show,' Conan O'Brien had a chance to appear on camera and share his thoughts on the whole long, drawn out civil war between him and Jay Leno and NBC and GE and the late night industry at large.

For the record, Conan O'Brien's sit down with Steve Kroft on '60 Minutes' on May 2, 2010 -- the first date he was contractually allowed to discuss what happened -- clearly established that while he's disappointed about what happened, Conan O'Brien is not defeated. To paraphrase 'Evita,' "Don't cry for him, America."

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'The Late Shift' Prequel in the Works

by Brad Trechak, posted May 1st 2010 4:47PM
Johnny CarsonWe probably won't be seeing any television movies soon that will serve as the sequel to 'The Late Shift,' telling of the difficulties between NBC, Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno. However, a prequel mini-series is in the planning stages about the rise of 'The Tonight Show' and Johnny Carson called 'The King of Late Night.'

The mini-series will actually be about the rise of the first three hosts of 'The Tonight Show': Steve Allen, Jack Paar and of course Johnny. It will focus on NBC's history of screwing them over (except for Carson, who managed to beat them at their own game). If done with tremendous historical detail to the level of 'Mad Men,' it could be very good.

That's likely the direction they're going in since the project has been described as "The Rat Pack version of 'The Late Shift.'" A&E would actually be a good channel to host this concept, but more likely it will go to one of the premium channels like HBO.

So who should play Johnny? Please don't say Rich Little. It's been done.

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Tom Bergeron: A Man's Guest Spot Is His 'Castle'

by Michael Maloney, posted Apr 9th 2010 9:07PM
'Dancing With the Stars' main man Tom Bergeron is playing Bobby Mann -- a late night talk show host who gets canceled permanently on the April 12 episode of 'Castle,' which airs on ABC immediately after the 'DWTS' two-hour performance show. It's up to series star Nathan Fillion and his TV detective partner, played by Stana Katic, to find out who killed Bobby.

AOL spoke with Bergeron, who weighed in on 'Castle,' the current -- and arguably most-talked about -- cast of 'Dancing With the Stars,' and how he handles those pesky TMZ.com interviews.

Read the interview after the jump.

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One Last Note About The Olympics, From Jimmy Fallon

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 4th 2010 11:28AM
Because of The Olympics, 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' wasn't on for the past few weeks, which means he couldn't do his regular "Thank You Notes" segment on Friday nights. But he was in Vancouver and sat down with Bob Costas and a studio audience and did an Olympics-themed version of the bit. Costas accompanies him on keyboard.

Funny how Costas mentions Craig Kilborn at the end. I still have a memory of Kilborn doing something like "Thank You Notes" on his CBS show, or am I remembering wrong?

[Watch episodes of 'Late Night' and other shows at SlashControl.]

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Comedians Cut Loose on Chris Hardwick's 'Nerdist' Podcast

by Mike Moody, posted Feb 24th 2010 2:03PM
Nerdist Drew Carey Johnny CarsonIt's always refreshing when a showbiz vet indulges in a passion project that's entertaining, informative and funnier than anything he's ever done before. That's exactly what 'Web Soup' host Chris Hardwick is doing with his latest online venture, The Nerdist Podcast.

Hardwick, 'Web Soup' writer Jonah Ray and pal Matt Mira launched the free-form podcast earlier this month. So far, they've posted three hilarious episodes featuring candid conversations with TV comedians Drew Carey, Tom Lennon ('The State', 'Reno 911!'), and Adam Corolla.

The show is worth a listen for anyone looking for a good laugh and some entertaining and honest conversations about life in the entertainment business. Nerdist gives Hardwick's famous friends a comfy venue to cut loose on countless topics and to tell personal stories you'll probably never hear anywhere else. (Most shows are recorded at the guest's home.)

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