JFK+50: Volume 5, No. 1730
HEEEEERE'S JOHNNY: CARSON MAKES DEBUT ON NBC'S TONIGHT SHOW
New York City (JFK+50) Fifty-three years ago today, October 1, 1962, Johnny Carson* officially took over the reins of NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show" from Jack Paar. Mr. Carson would host the show for 30 years (1962-1992).
Mr. Carson, a college graduate, US Navy veteran, and radio/tv personality, was introduced by his sidekick, Ed McMahon with the iconic words "Heeeeere's Johnny." Carson would stroll out to center stage from behind multi-colored curtains and deliver a monologue, after which he would swing an imaginary golf club.
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was televised from here in New York City from 1962 to 1972 and from Burbank, California from 1972 to 1992.
The largest audience for any of the shows came on December 17, 1969 when singer Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki. 58 million viewers tuned in.
Johnny Carson, who became one of the highest paid television entertainers of all time, received six Emmy Awards. He was admitted to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.
*John William "Johnny" Carson (1925-1969) was born in Corning, Iowa & grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska. JWC served in the US Naval Air Corps & graduated with a B.A. in radio/speech from the University of Nebraska in 1949. He began his on-air career at WOW in Omaha, NE in 1950.
JWC died at the age of 79 from complications of emphysema.
"Johnny Carson makes debut as Tonight Show host," This Day in History: October 1, www.history.com/