About Talkers Magazine

Latest Issue Front Page

Subscription Information

Talk Radio Research Project

Heavy Hundred 2001

News Notes

Online Classifieds

Week in Review


Directory of Talk Radio 2002 Edition

New Media Seminar

Events at the Heritage Foundation


You know someone is an icon when, years after he’s left his program, people say they still miss him and that the show just isn’t the same. That’s how many Americans feel who watched “The Tonight Show” during the 30 years Johnny Carson was the host. As mentioned in the accompanying overview, if this list were compiled by a publication with more of a television entertainment industry perspective, Johnny Carson would be number one, not two, on this list.

His experience prior to succeeding Jack Parr in 1962 as host of “The Tonight Show” consisted mainly of writing comedy and hosting game shows. He had been extremely popular as the young host of the now-legendary show, “Who Do You Trust?” which displayed his skills as an emcee who could chat with contestants spontaneously. It didn’t take long, however, after assuming the helm of “The Tonight Show,” for Carson to become America’s favorite television talk host and the undisputed king of late night television. During his lengthy reign, other networks and syndicators served up a series of competitors, some (Dick Cavett, Regis Philbin) even making this prestigious list - but none ever coming close to beating Johnny Carson in the ratings.

He exhibited a superb wit which meshed with his ability to make guests feel at ease that allowed his conversations to flow naturally. He knew how to use the camera, too. His trademark look at the viewers with that twinkle in his eye and a slight smirk on his face at just the right time often said more than any number of words could.

A extremely private individual, Carson has purposely stayed out of the public spotlight since his retirement - only adding mystique and credibility to his ever-growing status as a show business legend.

Copyright 2002 Focus Communcations, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Site Developed by TALKERS Magazine Online Webstaff

TALKERS Magazine
650 Belmont Ave
Springfield, MA 01108

(413) 739-8255 Phone
(413) 746-6786 Fax