[01/24/05 - 12:00 AM]
Jay Leno Remembers Johnny Carson Tonight During a Special Tribute Show Featuring Ed Mcmahon, Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Drew Carey and a Music Performance by K.D. Lang

[via press release from NBC]


BURBANK, Calif. -- January 24, 2005 -- In tribute to Johnny Carson, tonight's telecast of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" featured Jay Leno reflecting on the life of Johnny Carson with Ed McMahon, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart and Drew Carey. k.d. lang closed the show with a performance of "Simple."

The following is a transcript of host Jay Leno's comments at the top of the show:

Welcome to "The Tonight Show." As you know, it's been a tough 24 hours for those of us who are fans of Johnny Carson. I was thinking about what I could say about Johnny Carson, and I kept trying to search for something new that hadn't been said before. After a couple hours, I realized that was impossible. Maybe that was the greatest thing about Johnny, imagine getting to the end of your life and there's no compliment that you haven't been paid. Johnny had that special quality of grace, charm and dignity in the public arena. He was an incredibly polite man and when you were invited into his house, this show, you knew you were an honored guest. Before he became host of "the Tonight Show", he was the host of a show called "Who Do You Trust?" which was the perfect title for show starring Johnny Carson. Because the truth is, we trusted Johnny. We trusted him to make us laugh, to entertain us, to speak for us with what was a truly an American voice.

Johnny hosted this show for 30 years...Think about that, these days some NBC shows don't last 30 days. What made Johnny such a unique talent was that for 30 years he was hip, but smart enough not to be so hip that next year he was out of style. That was a fine, almost impossible, line to walk and no one did it better than Johnny Carson. Johnny never went out of style. As a comedian he taught me that it was okay to be known for doing political humor, but never making the mistake of thinking you're a political commentator. It's okay to satirize the society we live in, just don't start believing you're a social commentator.

You know, people say this country is divided now, these people forget the 60s and early 70s. There were almost daily marches, there were race riots, there were assassinations, there were anti-war demonstrations all the time. We witnessed the most drastic cultural change in American history. But, throughout it all, no matter what the state of the world, it seemed to get its sanity back every night at 11:30. Johnny was a constant in our lives and every night he made us feel okay about it.

As good as Johnny was with celebrities and politicians, he was at his best with ordinary folks. Because they didn't treat him as Johnny Carson, "the king of Late Night", they treated him as Johnny Carson from Norfolk, Nebraska. There was always a moment when he would ask, "Do you ever watch my show?" And the person would always say something like " No, I don't stay up late unless there's something worthwhile to do." Well Johnny loved that, he would laugh and laugh and he thought that was the greatest thing in the world.

As a performer I don't think I ever wanted to impress anyone more than Johnny Carson. He had that effect on comedians. When he gave you that wave, or the wink, or the call over to the desk. Nothing before or since has had as profound an effect on me as that one little gesture. In the mid-80s I started working as a guest host for Johnny. And it's strange, after all these years, I still feel like a guest in his house.... Because he built this place, everyone who does this for a living owes it to him. Johnny was the best, plain and simple. The best way to sum it up is, you had to be there. If you were fortunate to be watching during Johnny's 30-year run, consider yourself lucky, cause you're not going to see the likes of him ever again.

"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" is from Big Dog Productions in association with NBC Studios. Debbie Vickers is the executive producer.

  [january 2005]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[10/28/16 - 09:36 AM]
Nickelodeon's Kids Pick the President "Kids' Vote" Launches Today
The "Kids' Vote" results will be announced live on Saturday, November 5, at approximately 9:35 p.m.

[10/28/16 - 09:12 AM]
"The Walking Dead" Returns as the Biggest Show on Television for the Fifth Consecutive Season
AMC further spins the numbers for Sunday, October 23.

[10/28/16 - 09:05 AM]
TV One's Signature "Unsung" Series Returns Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 8 P.M. ET
Look for new installments spotlighting Hill Harper, Joe & Guy Torry, Bill Bellamy, Kurupt, Bobby Bland and Frankie Knuckles.

[10/28/16 - 08:56 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Charts with New Lineup
"The Big Bang Theory" leads the evening among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/28/16 - 08:12 AM]
Bravo Media's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" Delivers Double the Drama with a Two-Part Reunion Beginning Sunday, November 6 at 10PM ET/PT
Host Andy Cohen encourages these women to leave no stone unturned and set the record straight during this explosive reunion.

[10/28/16 - 08:02 AM]
Investigation Discovery Launches Advocacy Campaign "Stop Hate in Your State"
"Stop Hate in Your State" is designed to cast a spotlight on hate crimes and provide easy steps viewers can take to stop them.

[10/28/16 - 07:49 AM]
MTV Classic to Air 24-Hours of Beavis & Butt-head "Buttoween (AKA Cornholio, Lord of the Harvest)"
Throughout "The Great Cornholiothon," fans will be invited on-air to answer Beavis & Butt-head trivia questions on Twitter for a chance to win MTV swag.

[10/27/16 - 08:10 PM]
NBC Drafts Jennifer Lopez to Executive Produce and Star in Tony Award-Winning Musical "Bye Bye Birdie Live!"
Lopez will star in the iconic role of "Rosie" and executive produce with her producing partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina alongside award-winning film, TV, and live musical executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

[10/27/16 - 02:40 PM]
A&E Network to Premiere New Original Docuseries "Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath"
Remini, along with high level former Scientology executives and Church members, delves deep into shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences.

[10/27/16 - 02:06 PM]
Unexpected Motherhood Explored in Lifetime's Two New Series, "30 Something Grandma" and "Knocked Up"
Look for the newcomers on November 15 and December 6, respectively.

[10/27/16 - 02:05 PM]
truTV's Short-Form Comedy Series "Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack" Returns Wednesday, Nov. 2
In this weekly showcase, comedy fans will be treated to a lineup of original offerings from some of the biggest and brightest creators spanning a variety of styles from character-driven shorts to animation to music videos and much more.

[10/27/16 - 01:06 PM]
Universal Cable Productions Announces Multiple Licensed Product Partners for "Mr. Robot"
Available just in time for Halloween, Rasta Imposta's iconic fsociety mask is available now at retailers nationwide including Amazon, Costume Super Center, Hot Topic, Party City, Spirit Halloween and Spencers.

[10/27/16 - 12:49 PM]
WE tv Announces New Paranormal Docu-Series "Ghosts in the Hood" Premiering on Thursday, January 5, 2017
The show follows the ghost-hunting team of O.P.O. (Official Paranormal Operations), who go where other ghost hunters typically don't - from the LBC to Altadena - bringing their signature humor along with them.

[10/27/16 - 12:46 PM]
Are You Cameron Ready? Netflix Announces Launch Date for Unscripted Series "Chasing Cameron"
The 10-episode series, which follows digital influencer Cameron Dallas, will launch globally on December 27 at 12:01am PST.

[10/27/16 - 11:54 AM]
Video: "24: Legacy" Trailer Reaches 7.0 Million Views in 24 Hours
The two-night premiere event airs Sunday, February 5, following "Super Bowl LI," and continues Monday, February 6, on FOX.