The Tonight Show As A Talk Show Format Premieres On July 29, 1957

July 29, 2010  
Filed under Movies/TV

On this very night of July 29th, but way back in 1957, The Tonight Show was broadcast on NBC, with Jack Paar as host. This would be in the talk show format that we are familiar with. Johnny Carson went on to perfect and refine this format. Jack Paar  hosted The Tonight Show from 1957-1962. Johnny Carson hosted it from 1962 to 1992. I think most of us saw the very last show, May 22, 1992. You can still see it on YouTube.

It must be noted that it was Steve Allen who premiered The Tonight Show on September 27, 1954. This earlier version of the show, however, was more strictly an entertainment format. When Jack Paar took over it became a more serious talk show, with guests such as Peter Ustinov and a regular, conservative intellectual, William F. Buckley, Jr.

My main memories are of Johnny Carson and all of his outlandish characters, such as Art Fern, Floyd R. Turbo, Aunt Blabby and of course Carnac The Magnificent. If it weren`t for The Tonight Show I wouldn`t have been able to have a proper conversation with my Dad when I was growing up. Dad could laugh while we were watching the show and pontificate some important life lessons, most of which I tried to learn.

I`ll link for you some Classic Carson, when Dean Martin and Bob Hope were on some time in 1969. That pic is Johnny from that show with Deano and Bob. Look to see if you think Dean is really intoxicated or is merely acting the role. He`s certainly got his image down. We owe a lot to these early forefathers of late night TV. Jay, Conan and David carry on the tradition.


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