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I am looking forward to seeing what Stephen Colbert has to offer when he takes over for David Letterman on CBS on Sept. 8.
And many people enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s version of “The Tonight Show” on NBC or head to ABC to see Jimmy Kimmel.
But the man that started millions of TVs from being turned off after the local news and who set the bar for the late-night hosts of today was Johnny Carson.
He hosted “The Tonight Show” on NBC from 1962 to 1992. I didn’t start watching him consistently until I was in high school and was a regular viewer until the end.
I always felt the energy of Ed McMahon’s opening introduction, Doc Severinsen and the show’s band playing the show’s theme and then Johnny Carson walking out from beyond the curtain and onto the stage.
My dad recently got a best of Johnny Carson DVD set. I watched it with him and the man was consistently funny. He was still funny when a joke during his monologue bombed or a sketch bombed.
Now that energy is coming back to TV. Carson’s shows from 1972 to 1992 are coming nightly to Antenna TV starting Jan. 1 at 10 p.m. CST. Antenna TV is a WGN channel that’s at 9.2 over-the-air and is also on many satellite and cable systems.
According to a story Wednesday, Aug. 12 by Variety.com that was posted on Antenna TV’s Facebook page, only full-length shows from 1972 to 1992 will be shown under the title “Johnny Carson.” NBC owns the rights to the name “The Tonight Show.”
The Variety.com story stated that very few of Carson’s shows before 1972 remain. NBC did not keep an archive. When the show moved out to Burbank, Calif. in 1972, Carson’s production company started to keep one.