20 Secrets About Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show That Ed McMahon Would Have Never Announced On Air

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For over 30 years, U.S. television staple the Tonight Show endured some of the greatest success in TV history. Under the watch of Johnny Carson, the NBC show gained a reputation that is still to be matched in terms of popularity. And while the hugely popular talk show is still going strong with Jimmy Fallon at the helm, there will never be another Johnny Carson. From 1962-1992, the seasoned presenter entertained audiences with his sharp wit, suave persona, and a who’s who of celebrity guests. However, not everything was aired during his run – particularly these 20 scandalous secrets surrounding one of the greatest stints in television history.

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20. Guests weren’t interviewed in order of importance

We’ve become accustomed these days to chat shows basing their guest billing around the more star-studded celebrities. However, the Tonight Show didn’t follow that formula. And so you were just as likely to see a relatively unknown performer appear at the top of the show as you were to see them cap things off.

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19. Carson wasn’t a fan of one interviewee in particular

Despite appearing numerous times on the popular talk show throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Bob Hope was allegedly Carson’s least favorite guest on the show. In fact, producer Peter Lassally is quoted as saying that Carson, “was not a great admirer of his work.” It’s another example of the host’s dedication, and only highlights his ability to put aside his own personal feelings for the good of the show.

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