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,”...