This day in history: Johnny Carson made his last TV appearance

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Top 10 Johnny Carson Trivia


On May 13th, 1994, beloved talk show host Johnny Carson made his last TV appearance ever on his friend David Letterman's "The Late Show." The last episode of Carson's "The Tonight Show" had aired just two years before in 1992.

Carson is considered to be one of the greatest talk show hosts of all time. He wasn't afraid to don wild costumes or do silly voices, and he could impersonate a vast array of celebrities. He also knew how to really talk to celebrities and had an uncanny ability to get them to open about about their personal lives. He was always ready with a quip to keep the conversation moving.

Carson also helped to launch the careers of many beloved comedians, who vied for a spot on "The Tonight Show" where they could appeal to Carson's vast audience. Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey are a few examples of comedians who got their start on "The Tonight Show."

17 PHOTOS
Johnny Carson
See Gallery
This day in history: Johnny Carson made his last TV appearance
Johnny Carson in his first and only talk show appearance since stepping down as host of "The Tonight Show," gets a standing ovation by Letterman and the studio audience when he makes a surprise appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in May, 13 1994 on the CBS Television Network. This photo is provided by CBS from the Late Show with David Letterman photo archive. Photo: Tony Esparza/CBS ©1994 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
Johnny Carson, comedian and host of the "Tonight Show," is shown in 1962 at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
December 1964: Johnny Carson, star of NBC's 'Tonight' show, one of the channel's flagship, colour programmes. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Comedian Steve Martin left, festooned with mock jewelry and other ornaments, entertains Tonight show host Johnny Carson during a taping of the show at NBC studios in Burbank Calif., July 19, 1980. Martin, a surprise guest on the show, playfully answered the question, "Has success spoiled Steve Martin?" by showing up in chains, rings and earrings, and throwing fistfulls of "money" at Carson, who was making his first Tonight Show appearance since he underwent surgery on his leg last week. ( AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
American talk show host and comedian Johnny Carson (1925 - 2005) and his second wife Joanne Copeland, mid 1960s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
December 1964: Johnny Carson, star of NBC's 'Tonight' show, one of the channel's flagship, colour programmes. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Brazilian soccer star Pele appears on the ?Tonight Show? with Johnny Carson (NBC-TV) on May 7, 1973 in New York. (AP Photo/Allen Green)
Host Johnny Carson is shown at the 52nd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles Monday, April 14, 1980. (AP Photo)
Talk show host Johnny Carson is seen dressed as an Egyptian King in this undated photo. Carson died Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005 according to his nephew. He was 79. (AP Photo)
Singer Paul McCartney gestures as he chats with Johnny Carson during the taping of the "Tonight Show," at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Oct. 24, 1984. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Johnny Carson, host of the "Tonight Show," sits in his front office under a wall covered with framed magazine covers bearing his picture in Los Angeles, Ca., Sept. 29, 1983. Carson will celebrate his 21st anniversary on the late-night talk show. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)
Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, left, admires a pair of sunglasses worn by talk show host Johnny Carson during taping of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Wednesday night, Dec. 17, 1986, Burbank, Calif. McMahon was in California to have surgery, and gave Carson the sunglasses. McMahon was wearing a brace on his right shoulder to keep his shoulder immobile. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
Talk show host Johnny Carson, with his personalized coffee cup in front of him, watches clips from earlier shows during the last taping of the "Tonight Show" in front of family and friends in Burbank, Ca., Friday, May 22, 1992. The king of late-night comedy is retiring after 30 years. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
In this May 22, 1992 file photo, Ed McMahon, left, and host Johnny Carson are shown on "The Tonight Show" for their final broadcast in Burbank, Calif. With his debut as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" 50 years ago this October, until he retired from the show on May 22, 1992, he was seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in American history. "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," a two-hour "American Masters" portrait premiers Monday at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS. (AP Photo/Douglas Pizac, file)
Johnny Carson arrives at NBC Studios for the second-to-last taping of the "Tonight Show" in Burbank, Ca., Thursday, May 21, 1992. Carson will retire tomorrow after 30 years of late-night television. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
In this May 22, 1992 file photo, host Johnny Carson wipes his eye after watching a series of clips from earlier shows during the last taping for their final broadcast of "The Tonight Show" in Burbank, Calif. With his debut as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" 50 years ago this October, until he retired from the show on May 22, 1992, he was seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in American history. "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," a two-hour "American Masters" portrait premiers Monday at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS. (AP Photo/Douglas Pizac, file)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

People are Reading