The Tonight Show

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Television series
Original title The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.svg
Country of production United States
Year (s) since 1954
genre Late night show
Moderation Steve Allen (1954–1957)
Jack Paar (1957–1962)
Johnny Carson (1962–1992)
Jay Leno (1992–2009)
Conan O'Brien (2009–2010)
Jay Leno (2010–2014)
Jimmy Fallon (since 2014)
First broadcast September 27, 1954 (USA) on NBC

The Tonight Show is the first and most successful late-night show in the world and at the same time the longest-running entertainment show on US television. It is currently moderated by Jimmy Fallon .

The talk show premiered on September 27, 1954 under the name Tonight . The forerunner was a regional show from New York . The first presenter was comedian and musician Steve Allen . The show changed host and name several times until 1962. Then Johnny Carson took over and hosted the show for 30 years. Only since then has it been called "The Tonight Show" . Nevertheless, one counts the time before the Tonight Show.


The Tonight Show runs on NBC in the United States .

In Europe it ran for a long time on NBC Europe , later on CNBC Europe , initially three, since the end of 2008 one working day with a delay. From February 2012 to February 2014, she was replaced there by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon . With the handover to Jimmy Fallon in the United States, The Tonight Show has been broadcast again since February 2014.

The German-language television station joiz showed the program from April 14, 2014 to October 30, 2014 four times a week in Germany and Switzerland with a one-day delay from the original broadcast. From January 26, 2016, the current program from the previous day in Germany could be seen from Monday to Friday around 11 p.m. on One with German subtitles. The program from Friday was broadcast on the following Monday. As announced in advance on Facebook, One took the Tonight Show completely out of the program from 2018.

German television viewers can continue to follow them on a daily basis via CNBC, albeit without subtitles.


The show consists of three parts: a monologue in which the moderator makes jokes about current topics and events, a talk part with usually two guests and a music or stand-up comedy act. In addition, played comedy interludes, prerecorded clips or games with talk guests and / or viewers can occur.


Steve Allen (1954-1957)

The Tonight Show, then known as NBC's Tonight , began on September 27, 1954 with host Steve Allen. The format comes from the Knickerbocker Beer Show , a show he hosted on WNBT-TV (now WNBC) from 1953 to 1954. Allen was accompanied by announcer Gene Rayburn and conductor Lyle "Skitch" Henderson . He hosted the show until 1957 when he went to his own Sunday variety program.

Johnny Carson (1962-1992)

Johnny Carson was introduced as the new host of The Tonight Show on October 1, 1962. It was then called The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson . The show was initially filmed in a studio in Rockefeller Center in New York City , and in May 1972 it moved to NBC Studios in Burbank, California . Johnny Carson retired on May 22, 1992 after 30 years of tonight show hosting.

Jay Leno (1992-2009)

Laura Bush as a guest on Jay Leno on the Tonight Show

The stand-up comedian Jay Leno hosted his first Tonight Show on May 25, 1992. The show continued to be produced in Studio 3 at NBC Studios in Burbank.

One of the best-known components of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno was the heading Headlines , in which Leno presents funny headlines (every Monday), as well as Jaywalking . Jay's contact person on stage was his band leader, jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks . In 2004, long-time announcer Edd Hall was replaced by John Melendez. Melendez was a sidekick at Howard Stern for 15 years .

Internationally, the Tonight Show caused a stir when actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California on the show.

On September 27, 2004, on the show's 50th anniversary, NBC announced that Conan O'Brien would take over the Tonight Show in 2009. On May 29, 2009 Jay Leno hosted his last show, his successor Conan O'Brien and music act James Taylor were guests .

Jay Leno hosted a new show on NBC's main evening program starting in Fall 2009, right before the Tonight Show . Some parts of his Tonight Show, such as "Jaywalking" or "Headlines", also appeared in the new show. However, it was announced in early January 2010 that the show would be canceled after less than five months, at the beginning of the 2010 Winter Olympics . Then Leno took over the moderation of the Tonight Show again and replaced O'Brien.

Conan O'Brien (2009-2010)

Conan O'Brien hosted Late Night with Conan O'Brien from 1993 to 2009 , which aired on NBC right after Jay Leno's Tonight Show. The show was recorded in New York in the converted Tonight Show Studio by Johnny Carson (it has since been demolished).

On June 1, 2009, the first episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien aired. Conan O'Brien moved from New York to Los Angeles. A new section of the building with offices and a new studio was built in Universal Studios Hollywood for several million dollars. Never before has the Tonight Show had such a large set.

Jay Leno started using the old studio in Burbank in autumn 2009 for his new show "The Jay Leno Show", which was scheduled just before the Tonight Show. Will Ferrell was the first guest on the new Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien . Pearl Jam played as a musical guest .

Conan O'Brien took over many of the show elements from his earlier "Late Night" on the Tonight Show. His show band, the "Max Weinberg 7" (new name: Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band), and a large part of the team moved to Los Angeles. The long-time show announcer Joel Godard remained in New York and was the former late-night-with-Conan O'Brien - sidekick Andy Richter replaced.

The new Jay Leno Show got bad ratings on its early evening broadcast, and the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien was nowhere near the audience it had under Jay Leno. So it was considered moving the Jay Leno Show to the 11:35 p.m. slot, which would have meant a broadcast date after midnight for the Tonight Show. The issue of relocation / non-relocation was heavily debated in January 2010 in the USA.

Conan O'Brien drew the consequences and reached an agreement with NBC to withdraw from his contract. On January 22, 2010, he hosted the Tonight Show for the last time. Since November 2010 he has been presenting a new show on the cable broadcaster TBS.

Jay Leno (2010-2014)

Jay Leno returned to the Tonight Show on March 1, 2010. In April 2013 Leno announced that he would hand over the moderation of the "Tonight Show" in spring 2014 to Jimmy Fallon .

Jimmy Fallon (since 2014)

Jimmy Fallon has hosted the tonight show Starring Jimmy Fallon since February 17, 2014 . The show is broadcast from Rockefeller Center for the first time since 1972 , where NBC invested $ 5 million in a new studio. The band The Roots , which accompanied him on his Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009-2014), remains his house band. Fallon also took his announcer Steve Higgins to the Tonight Show .


Frederick de Cordova joined The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on NBC in 1970 , using the name Fred de Cordova. He became the producer of the Tonight Show and executive producer from 1984 . In a 1981 interview, he described his work as “the top traffic cop, talent scout, fan number 1 and critic, all rolled into one”. In 1992 he left the show after 22 years as an employee.

Web links

Commons : The Tonight Show  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  4. ^ Bye, bye Germany. Retrieved December 8, 2017 .
  5. Richard Severo: Steve Allen, Comedian Who Pioneered Late-Night TV Talk Shows, Is Dead at 78 [Steve Allen, comedian who pioneered his late-night TV talk shows, is dead at 78] . In: The New York Times . November 1, 2000, ISSN  0362-4331 ( [accessed March 8, 2019]).
  6. ^ Spiegel Online . Retrieved January 12, 2010
  7. Jay Leno takes over old slot - O'Brien leaves the station
  8. Is Leno ousting the Tonight Show?
  9. ^ Biography of Fred de Cordova on the page of Johnny Carson . Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  10. Douglas Martin: Fred De Cordova, TV Producer, Dies at 90 , The New York Times. September 18, 2001, p. C1.  Retrieved July 2, 2009