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June 2, 2015 9:06 am  #1


Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

According to a new poll, which apparently heavily relied on older Americans, the answer remains Johnny Carson. David Letterman was a far distant second. This despite the fact Carson has been off the air for 23 years, dead for over a decade and that a large number of people weren't even born when he was doing The Tonight Show.

I'm always fascinated by how fleeting fame can be. The name Jack Paar was arguably one of the most well known in the 60s, when he hosted the same Tonight Show. When he walked off the late night yakker in a dispute over a joke, it made headlines around the world. Today, how many people even know who he is? 

Johnny Carson Reigns as America's All-Time Favorite Late-Night Host, Poll Finds

 

June 2, 2015 10:03 am  #2


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

Carson would get my vote by a landslide. 

I was a fan of early Letterman but I felt it just became the same schtick night after night.  I'm enjoying the Jimmy Kimmel stuff, but to be honest I don't think I've ever watched his show.  Everything I see is on YouTube.

For me, Carson was the real thing.  Funny, entertaining, a great interviewer and knew how to get where he needed to go without being obvious about it.  One of my favourite bits was his last appearance on Letterman, where he walked out, got a standing ovation, and walked off again .




I've been lucky to meet lots of 'huge' stars over the years, never Carson though.  I was at the show a couple of times.  I'm pretty sure he's one of the few I'd be completely speechless around had I been given the chance  .




 


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
 

June 2, 2015 10:15 am  #3


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

No reason for this, but tripped across it watching the Carson clip above.  The stars are incredible on this show.



 


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
 

June 2, 2015 11:14 am  #4


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

My personal poll would definitely have Johnny Carson at # 1, but David Letterman would be a close # 2.  I was just a kid when Jack Parr was the host of The Tonight Show, but I did get to watch occasionally.  It was fun because he had on such interesting guests and you never knew what Parr was going to say from night to night.  The night Jack walked off the show over a censored joke about a WC (water closet aka bathroom), sidekick/announcer Hugh Downs took over for the rest of the show.

Incidentally, it was NBC VP Pat Weaver, father of actress Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters, Alien etc) who named the program "The Tonight Show".  He also created and named "The Today Show".

 

June 2, 2015 11:58 am  #5


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

ONEIL wrote:

Henry Bushkin (Bombastic Bushkin) Carsons long time accountant wrote a telling biography of his time with Carson.  The TV persona was much different from the troubled man in real life.  Well worth the read.

Read it over 2 days.  couldn't put it down.  Really enjoyed it.
 


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
 

June 2, 2015 6:26 pm  #6


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

ONEIL wrote:

Henry Bushkin (Bombastic Bushkin) Carsons long time accountant wrote a telling biography of his time with Carson.  The TV persona was much different from the troubled man in real life.  Well worth the read.

Just got it for my Kindle.
 


- Not an industry person.  Just a guy with a love of Toronto radio. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.gif
 

June 2, 2015 7:56 pm  #7


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

Does anyone remember Steve Allen?  Guess I am just an old fart, but he was great. 

 

June 3, 2015 7:53 am  #8


Re: Who's The Top All Time Late Night TV Host?

I would guess it would be Carson followed by Lenno (if you're talking ratings leaders).. My personal favorite is Letterman... Steve Allen also had his funny moments (some were copied by many). Hey Frank Zappa fans, check this out. 


 

Last edited by the original hank (June 3, 2015 7:55 am)