In a world of change, finding a single constant is precious. That’s true today in the highly connected world, but if you want one of the greatest examples, you need to head back into the history of American television to find one of the earliest and greatest media voices.
For thirty years on The Tonight Show, he brought on guests, musicians, comedians, animals, and more. Spots such as The Great Carnac were the YouTube comedy shorts of the seventies, touching moments like Jimmy Stewart’s touching and powerful poetry brought viewers to tears, and the discovery of unknown singers who went on to become stars (looks at Bette Midler) meant The Tonight Show was the place to be seen.
It was a place where anything could, and would happen. It was a place that was always changing, that never kept the same shape. You never knew who would be on the sofa, if it would be a politician, a writer, an actor, or a mad Australian with a puppet emu called Emu. And when each show came to a close, America would turn off their TVs and go to sleep, tucked in by the ever present and reassuring tone of Johnny Carson.
America tuned in for the guests, but they came back for Carson.