May 2nd, 2012
Johnny Carson: King of Late Night
Clip: Coronation of the King

Tonight Show writer Raymond Siller, Tonight Show musician Doc Severinsen, Tonight Show writer Paul Block, and Conan O’Brien remember how Johnny Carson psyched himself up before every show before he went on air, and how his comedy made him one of America’s most trusted television personalities. Johnny Carson: King of Late Night airs Monday, May 14, 2012 (check local listings).

  • Paula Smith

    I am so glad that you will be presenting a show on Johnny Carson. I loved him from the time I was in high school. Occasionally I will watch a few minutes of one of the late night television talk shows, and when I do I realize just how amazingly talented Johnny Carson was. None of the current late night hosts comes even close. I loved the way he could turn jokes that did not work around. The only other entertainer who can even be compared with Johnny Carson is Garrison Keillor.

  • Italia

    I am African-American. In my household Mr. Carson was iconic. I think of his humor as intelligent and hysterical. The facial grimaces, the looks. The stares into the camara when something comical was said. My Father, Aunts and Uncles who were majorly religious watched him without fail every night and a good time was had by all. I grew up watching him as a little girl and and understood every joke. I believe one of my favorites was when Joan Rivers guested and told the joke about how she was trying to “spice” up her marriage, of course I didn’t know what that meant at all, I associated spice up with she was trying to cook better! However she went on to say that she wrapped herself up in Saran wrap and waited on the sofa for her husband to come home from work. When he walked in the door he looks over to her and says…”Oh left overs again?” I actually got the joke, loved it and remember it to this day! In my young mind I was able to equate Saran wrap to left overs and thought I knew something. It was a few years of course before i realized the true meaning. I still laugh today.

  • Steve

    11:35 PM East Coast time has never been the same since this guy left the airways. He was a great one!

  • Heywood Zhablomi

    It would be nice to see this documentary. Sadly, the PBS website doesn’t work and they’re not fixing it.

  • Sue

    Oh, PBS, please fix your website!!!!!!!!!!!! I so want to watch this documentary and there is something wrong with your link. It keeps stopping, gets out of synch. I have only been able to watch bits and pieces. Please fix it! Or please air it again on television.

  • fultonk

    We are currently looking into the video issue. Apologies for the technical difficulties and thank you for your patience.

  • Greg

    What a great show he had. I just laughed out loud at that corny “It’s so hot…” punchline. I mean, on paper, it’s the stupidest joke, something a Cub Scout would tell at a campfire. But in Carson’s hands, with his timing, his mild sarcasm, and of course the build up (the whole “How hot is it?” routine), it’s hilarious. That’s the artistry of stand-up, and Carson was indeed one of the Masters.


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