The Tonight Show

From the Archives: Johnny Carson on 'The Tonight Show'

From the Archives: Johnny Carson on 'The Tonight Show'

In 1982, Johnny Carson was the undisputed king of late-night television. Two years earlier, a new contract with NBC gave Carson a substantial raise and shortened the 90-minute show to 60 minutes.

This photo by Gary Friedman accompanied an in-depth story in the Sept. 17, 1982, Los Angeles Times that reported:

Carson, who’ll be 57 next month, is approaching his 20th anniversary as “Tonight Show” host. Sitting in his NBC office this week, smoking a lot of Pall Malls, he considered his reign as king of late-night television, and discussed the status of the realm.

Carson is firmly competitive about “Tonight.”

“Well, we’ve been on for 20 years,”...

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