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Johnny Carson Honored as 'King of Late Night' in American Masters PBS Documentary

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood May 2, 2012 at 2:13PM

In the mood to look backwards to the early days of late night TV? To mark the the 50th anniversary of Johnny Carson taking over the 'Tonight Show' from Jack Paar, as well as the 20th anniversary of Carson's retirement from television, this coming Monday, PBS will honor Johnny Carson as the "King of Late Night" in an American Masters documentary.
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Johnny Carson

In the mood to look backwards to the early days of late night TV?  To mark the the 50th anniversary of Johnny Carson taking over the 'Tonight Show' from Jack Paar, as well as the 20th anniversary of Carson's retirement from television, this coming Monday, PBS will honor Johnny Carson as the "King of Late Night" in an American Masters documentary.  Conan O'Brien, as well as many members of the 'Tonight Show' team, from writers Raymond Siller and Paul Block to musician Doc Severinsen, will reflect on the personality and influence of the late television host.  

The documentary premieres on PBS Monday, May 14, 2012.
 

Watch Coronation of the King on PBS. See more from American Masters.

This article is related to: Television, Documentary, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, TV


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.