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The King of Late Night

by AirTalk

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Late Night TV Show Host David Letterman makes a tribute to Johnny Carson onstage at the 57th Annual Emmy Awards. Vince Bucci/Getty Images

In a new documentary film, two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Peter Jones explores the life, career, complexities, and contradictions of Johnny Carson. Seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in American history, Carson became a fixture of national life and an intrinsic part of the American zeitgeist.

Over the course of 30 years, his show aired 4,531 episodes and welcomed 23,000 guests. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Carson taking over The Tonight Show from Jack Paar and the 20th anniversary of his retirement. Peter Jones’s film is narrated by two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey and features 45 original interviews with Carson’s friends, family and colleagues, including his second wife, Joanne, Dick Cavett, Doc Severinsen, and other The Tonight Show staff. Jones also interviewed performers who appeared, or began their careers, on the show, including David Letterman, Jay Leno, Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Drew Carey, Garry Shandling, Steve Martin, Angie Dickinson, Ellen DeGeneres, Carl Reiner, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Joan Rivers, and David Steinberg.


Peter Jones, Writer/Director/Producer of “American Masters Johnny Carson: King of Late Night”

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