On This Day 1994: Johnny Carson Makes Last Ever Television Appearance


Johnny Carson is the undisputed king of late night television. He hosted The Tonight Show on NBC from 1962-1992, finishing just shy of 30 years of service. Even now with all of the sophisticated writing and technology on late night talk shows, Johnny Carson is still referenced as the greatest ever.

When I saw this, I fully expected Carson to come back to television at some point or perhaps make more guest appearances. But he never did. According to The New York Times, Carson in later years would often send monologue jokes to David Letterman and Carson would get a kick out of him doing this. This was the last time he was ever on TV. Carson passed away from emphysema in 2005 at the age of 79. After Carson's death, Letterman did an entire monologue with jokes that Carson had sent over the years.

Photo credit: CARLO ALLEGRI AFP