My co-worker went HERE and made this for me:
I never got into the Tonight Show much since Leno took the reigns, but this is hilarious - click here
When he left late night there was a huge void that has never been filled and I don't think it can be. For one, the talk show hosts of today are either terrible listeners who are really only in it for themselves (setting up the next joke, not trying to bring out the best in their guests), or they are not funny: The greatest current talk show host is Charlie Rose, but I would hate to sit through one of his monologues. Even if there was a great host out there, the nature of TV has changed dramatically - 3,000 channels. Everyone's got a show now. I think that Carson made a mistake by choosing Leno - he really is an awful talk show host. He is a very hard worker and can be funny, but as I said, not a good listener at all. Why ask a question if you aren't going to listen to what the guest says? He has improved. Letterman is hilarious but same thing - not a good listener. He is better than Leno at it though - he has improved the most. I think Letterman would have been better than Leno in the Tonight Show format - I think he understood that would have given him a chance to grow and get out of the rut he felt he was in. He's moved on though and has done some of that anyway. It's common knowledge that he was hurt by Carson's decision. I think I understand why Carson went the way he did with those two options but in hindsight it was a mistake, in my opinion.
It has been announced that Conan O'Brian will replace Leno in what, the year 3012 I think? He's improved a lot in his interviewing, but still, not really that great an interviewer.
Carson had the perfect mix of good interviewer and funny man. Some of my favorite times on his show were when he had real people on - like old ladies. He would bring them out and let them impart their wisdom or make us smile. He could bring on kids and he was great with them. Have you seen Letterman interview a real person? I saw a show once when he had this 80 year old on and he made fun of her and made her so nervous she couldn't do whatever it was she was supposed to be doing. I was actually livid. When I calmed down I thought what an opportunity he lost by not letting us see this woman at her best. And I really missed Carson.
He lived out the rest of his life in relative seclusion...very comfortably. Lots of time on the boat. Every now and then he'd send a joke in to Letterman and he'd do it in his monologue - I guess Carson got a big kick out of that. RIP Great One.
Here's the Reuters bio:
Famed TV Entertainer Johnny Carson Dead
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Johnny Carson, the king of U.S. late-night television as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" for nearly 30 years, died on Sunday at age 79 after a long battle with emphysema.
"Mr. Carson passed away peaceful early Sunday morning. He was surrounded by his family," Carson's nephew, Jeff Sotzing, said in a statement, adding that their loss will be immeasurable.
Carson hosted "The Tonight Show" from the fall of 1962 to the spring of 1992, dominating the late-night TV scene and helping launch the careers of dozens of entertainers, including Joan Rivers, David Letterman and Carson's successor, Jay Leno.
Aspiring comedians knew that being motioned over to the guest couch by Carson after performing their stand-up routine could instantly transform them from virtual unknowns to stars.
"This is the end of an era," Rivers, a frequent guest host on the show, told Reuters. "With Carson you went on once. You had his blessing, and the world knew you were funny."
Carson's first guest was Groucho Marx, and the show steadily gained stature as a pop-cultural touchstone. One memorable evening in 1969 included the widely watched on-air wedding of Tiny Tim to Miss Vicki.
Carson's final "Tonight Show" broadcast aired on Friday, May 22, 1992, and was seen by 55 million viewers. He was replaced the following Monday by Leno.
Sidekick Ed McMahon introduced Carson nightly with the rallying cry of "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" and the show's blend of humor, music and conversation was the last thing millions of Americans saw before drifting off to sleep.
"I am one of the lucky people in the world. I have found something I liked to do, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it," a teary-eyed Carson said as he closed the show for the last time. "I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight."
In later years, Carson became something of a recluse in his Malibu, California, home, rarely venturing into the public eye.
After a 1999 quadruple bypass heart operation, Carson cut back on his tennis and discontinued his annual treks to Africa, the French Riviera and the Wimbledon (news - web sites) tennis tournament. According to friends, he had battled emphysema for years.
He was third permanent host of "The Tonight Show," following in the footsteps of Steve Allen and Jack Paar.
Born in Iowa and raised in Nebraska, the tall, lanky comedian became renowned for his everyman charm and made political humor a staple of his late-night opening monologue.
Politicians could test their popularity by Carson's monologue -- a joke about them might set people laughing and spell trouble -- as Richard Nixon found out when Carson started making Watergate jokes. Carson stopped the Nixon jokes when the president resigned and took a helicopter ride into exile.
President Bush (news - web sites) felt the Carson's sting when he reneged on his "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge, inspiring the comedian to say Bush's next step would be "Read my lips, no new promises."
The family said there would be no memorial service.
(Additional reporting by Sarah Tippit from Los Angeles)