The Tonight Show

The Tonight Show is the first and most successful late-night talk show in the world and also the longest existing entertainment show on US television.

She had on September 27, 1954 under the name Tonight Premiere. Precursor was a regional show of New York . First Host was the comedian and musician Steve Allen . Until 1962 the show changed several times the host and their name. Then took over Johnny Carsonand moderated 30 years the show. Only since it bears the name “The Tonight Show” . Nevertheless, one also counts the time before the Tonight Show.


The Tonight Show is running in the United States on the television channel NBC .

In Europe, it was a long time on NBC Europe , later on CNBC Europe , initially three, delayed a day since the end of 2008. From February 2012 to February 2014, she was there by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon replaced. [1] With the handover to Jimmy Fallon in the United States is again aired The Tonight Show in February, 2014.
The German language television joiz showed the consignment of 14 April 2014 to 30 October 2014 four times a week in Germany and Switzerland with a day’s delay to the original broadcast. [2]

Since 26 January 2016, the respective current program is the previous day in Germany from Monday to Friday 23 o’clock on one to see with German subtitles. Friday’s broadcast will be broadcast on Mondays. [3]


The show consists of three parts: a monologue, where the moderator jokes about current topics and events, a team with two guests, as well as a music or standup comedy act. In addition, played comedy inlays, prerecorded players or games with talents and / or spectators can occur.


Johnny Carson (1962-1992)

Johnny Carson was introduced on 1 October 1962 as a new host of the Tonight Show. Then bore the name of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson . First, the show was in a studio inRockefeller Center in City New York turned, in May 1972, she moved to the NBC Studios in California Burbank to. Johnny Carson retired on 22 May 1992 after 30 years of tonight show moderation.

Jay Leno (1992-2009)

Among the best known components of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno heading belonged Headlines in which Leno witty headlines presents (Mondays), and jaywalking . Jays contact on stage was his bandleader, jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks . In 2004 the longtime announcer Edd Hall was replaced by John Melendez. Melendez spent 15 years as a sidekick in Howard Stern employs.

International attended the Tonight Show stir when the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger his candidacy for the post of governor of California announced on the show.

On September 27, 2004, on the 50th anniversary of the show, NBC announced that Conan O’Brien would in 2009 take over the Tonight Show. On 29 May 2009 Jay Leno hosted his last mission, Unique visits his successor Conan O’Brien and a music act James Taylor .

Jay Leno hosted from autumn 2009 a new show in prime time on NBC, right in front of the Tonight Show . Some parts of his Tonight show, such as “Jaywalking” or “Headlines”, also appeared in the new show. However, already in early January 2010 it was announced that the show after less than five months, the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics should be discontinued. [4] After Leno took over again moderating the Tonight Show and sparked O’Brien from. [5]

Conan O’Brien (2009-2010)

Conan O’Brien moderated 1993-2009 the program Late Night with Conan O’Brien , which aired on NBC right after Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. The show was shot in New York in the converted Tonight show studio by Johnny Carson (meanwhile it was demolished).

The first episode was On 1 June 2009 Tonight Show broadcast with Conan O’Brien. Conan O’Brien moved from New York to Los Angeles. It was built for several million dollars a new building part with offices and new studio in the Universal Studios Hollywood. Never before had the Tonight Show set so large.

The old studio in Burbank used Jay Leno from autumn 2009 for his new show “The Jay Leno Show”, which was set up just before the Tonight Show. Will Ferrell was the first guest of the new Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien . As Musical Guest played Pearl Jam .

Conan O’Brien took over many show elements of his former “Late Night” in the Tonight Show. His show band, “Max Weinberg 7” (new name: Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band), and a large part of the team moved to Los Angeles. The longtime 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 went to their broadcast date in the early evening a poor odds and the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien could not reach the audience that she had under Jay Leno far. So it was thought to place the Jay Leno Show on the 23:35 clock slot, which would have meant a deadline for the Tonight Show after midnight. The subject of laying / non-laying was strongly discussed in January 2010 in the USA. [6]

Conan O’Brien drew the consequences and agreed with NBC about withdrawing from his contract. On 22 January 2010, he moderated the Tonight Show for the last time. Since November 2010, he has been presenting a new show at the TBS.

Jay Leno (2010-2014)

On March 1, 2010, Jay Leno returned to the Tonight Show. In March 2013 Leno announced that he moderating the “Tonight Show” in the spring of 2014 at Jimmy Fallon would emit.

Jimmy Fallon (since 2014)

Jimmy Fallon moderated since 17 February 2014, the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon . The show is the first time since 1972 from the Rockefeller Center transmitted where NBC has invested five million US dollars in a new studio. The band The Roots , which have him in his Late Night with Jimmy Fallon accompanied (2009-2014), continues to be the house band. Even his announcer Steve Higgins took Fallon with the Tonight Show .


Frederick de Cordova rose in 1970 at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on NBC, where he used the name Fred de Cordova. He was producer of the Tonight Show and from 1984executive . [7] In an interview in 1981, he described his work as “chief traffic cop, talent scout, Fan Nos. 1 and critics, all in one”. [8] In 1992, he said goodbye after 22 years as an employee of the show.