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Tonight Show

May 13, 2012 | By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times
Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer all made their best pitch but were turned down. Johnny Carson, the man who changed forever the world of late-night talk, wasn't talking. The network news powerhouses had separately attempted to secure interviews with Carson to get him to speak about his life and his place as one of the most influential figures in TV history. But from his 1992 retirement after 30 years on"The Tonight Show"until his death in 2005 at age 79, Carson steadfastly refused to cooperate with almost all interviews, books or films that would have called on him to reflect on his past or his show, which simultaneously reflected and influenced the nation's conversation about itself.
April 23, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
When John Oliver left "The Daily Show" in December to launch a new weekly show on HBO, host Jon Stewart surprised him with a video tribute to his 7-1/2 years on the Comedy Central show. Overcome with emotion, Oliver broke down in tears and gave Stewart a very heartfelt hug by way of departure. Many fans at the time were charmed by this genuine display of emotion. But Oliver's friends back in England hated it. In advance of the premiere of his new HBO show, "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver," the comedian appeared on "The Tonight Show," where host Jimmy Fallon quizzed him about his on-air sobbing.
March 22, 2013 | By Scott Collins and Meredith Blake and Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
For more than 40 years, a studio at the corner of Olive and Alameda avenues in Burbank has been churning out a show that keeps viewers up late. But with NBC's "Tonight Show" poised to migrate back to New York, Southern California is in danger of losing not just jobs but also cultural clout. News sunk in Thursday that NBC is hatching a plan to replace "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon next year and move the show back to New York, the city it fled in the early 1970s, not long before New York was mired in a bankruptcy crisis.
April 22, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
NBC News anchor Brian Williams was a guest on "The Tonight Show" on Monday, and to celebrate, Jimmy Fallon introduced yet another montage of Williams "rapping" a classic song. This time, the straight-laced newsman tackled Snoop Dogg's 1994 hit, "Gin and Juice. " The songs are actually hundreds of clips of the "NBC Nightly News" edited together with Swiss watch precision. Previous installments in this ongoing survey of the history of hip-hop through the "Nightly News" have included Williams performing "Rapper's Delight" and N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton.
March 22, 2013 | By Joe Flint
The man who came up with the phrase "beautiful downtown Burbank" is not happy that NBC is considering moving "The Tonight Show" back to New York City. "Burbank is a great little place," said Gary Owens, who coined the phrase from his radio days then made it famous when he was the announcer on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" from 1968 to 1973. "If you are in show business in any way, shape or form, you must be here. "  Johnny Carson, who moved "The Tonight Show" from New York to Los Angeles in 1972, also used the "beautiful downtown Burbank" line but never tried to take credit for it. PHOTOS: Classic 'Tonight Show' moments "He said, 'We're using "beautiful downtown Burbank," and I told him, 'That's fine - not a problem,'" Owens recalled.
April 3, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Jimmy Fallon is not the only person getting a new job. Fallon, who will take over as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" next spring, will be joined by Lorne Michaels, who currently executive produces Fallon's 12:30 a.m. show "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. " For Michaels, who is the longtime executive producer of NBC's "Saturday Night Live," having oversight over "The Tonight Show" increases his already strong hand at the network.  PHOTOS: Classic 'Tonight Show' moments It will also mean a lot more work.
March 2, 2010 | By MARY McNAMARA, Television Critic
Dick Cheney jokes, George Bush jokes, Cheerios jokes and a "new bit" entitled "How Boring Is Alan Greenspan?": Jay Leno is back on late-night, looking happier and more self-confident than he has in months. (It takes a confident man to introduce the word "boring," not to mention Alan Greenspan, five minutes into an opening monologue.) And why not? As he has made clear through recent self-pitying interviews and the foot-dragging "The Jay Leno Show," he never wanted to leave "The Tonight Show" in the first place.
April 3, 2013 | By Daniel Siegel, Times Community News
Burbank officials Wednesday treated news that “The Tonight Show” was leaving for a new host in a new city like a painful breakup. And as with most epic breakups, the rumor mill had been whirling for weeks. On Wednesday, NBC ended weeks of gossip and speculation by confirming that Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" in the spring of 2014. Although Leno is still the most-watched late-night television host, NBC is making the move because it thinks Fallon will do better with younger viewers in the years to come.
August 21, 2012 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Jay Leno worked in some jabs at his bosses at NBC and its corporate parent Comcast on Monday's "Tonight Show," the first show taped since the late-night program had to lay off roughly two dozen employees and Leno himself took a pay cut. Leno kicked off the program telling the audience, "Welcome to 'The Tonight Show,' or as Comcast calls us, 'The Expendables!'" He continued, "As you may have heard, our parent company has downsized 'The Tonight Show.' And we've been consistently No. 1 in the ratings.
February 19, 2014 | By David Horsey
On Jimmy Fallon's first night as host of NBC's "Tonight Show," his first musical guests, the legendary Irish rock band U2, performed their first song perched precariously on the roof of Rockefeller Center with the New York City skyline and a golden dusk shimmering in the background. That moment served dramatic notice that the show had left Burbank far behind. More than four decades ago, when Johnny Carson moved the show west, the Big Apple was looking rotten while Los Angeles had become the entertainment capital of the country.
April 11, 2014 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Like many Americans last week, I greeted the news of David Letterman's retirement in 2015 with regretful acceptance. I love him with a love deep and true, but the man is pushing 70, and at least we could look forward to another year of his fine, cantankerous self. But now I cannot wait for him to go. From the moment it was announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert would be taking over "Late Show," I was ready to box up Letterman's stuff and move it myself. Because I have to know: Will Colbert change the nature of late night or will the bravest comedian on television just sell out?
April 11, 2014 | By Scott Collins and Meredith Blake
With Stephen Colbert joining CBS, late-night TV's generational shift is complete - and the real battle for viewers, onscreen and online, can begin. America's most-watched network announced Thursday that it had picked Colbert, the 49-year-old host of Comedy Central's news sendup "The Colbert Report," as the next host of "Late Show. " Details of the show, including a start date and its location, have not been revealed. But CBS and Colbert confirmed that he will do the show as himself - and not in his current character, a bumptious right-wing talk host.
April 10, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
And so it came to pass that Stephen Colbert was announced as the next host of "The Late Show" (as of "sometime" in 2015 to be formerly "with David Letterman") and what was already thought a likelihood became a certainty. It seems in every way a sensible move. Colbert, who has been performing monologues and conducting interviews on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" since 2005, is not even changing time slots. CBS gets a proven performer and notably one whose cultural impact is, compared to the competition, out of proportion to the size of his audience; the "Report" averages just over a million viewers, less than half of Letterman's crowd and something like a fifth of what Jimmy Fallon brings to "The Tonight Show.
April 10, 2014 | By Joe Flint
This is not the time for CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves or Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler to go on a diet. That's because New York City and Los Angeles are going to be wooing them to be the home of Stephen Colbert's new late-night show, and that will probably mean a lot expensive meals at five-star restaurants. When CBS said Thursday that Colbert was taking over for David Letterman as host of "The Late Show" next year, it didn't mention where the show will be based. While Colbert's current Comedy Central show is produced in New York and he was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in South Carolina, the network is said to be willing to listen to pitches and be wooed.
April 10, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Will the "Late Show" under Stephen Colbert move to Los Angeles? Don't count on it. After "Late Show" host David Letterman announced he was stepping down last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti personally appealed to CBS Chief Les Moonves, saying in a letter that he was "excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS' next late night show to our city. " Garcetti and his newly appointed film czar, Ken Ziffren, reinforced that message in a phone call with Moonves this week.
April 8, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Nas is hustling. On Saturday night, the veteran New York rapper is scheduled to perform at Coachella, just days before the April 15 release of "Illmatic XX," a 20th-anniversary reissue of his much-loved 1994 debut. On April 16, he'll do "Illmatic" in its entirety following a screening of a new documentary about the album at New York's Tribeca Film Festival. Then he'll return to California for an encore Coachella appearance on April 19. 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January 24, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
House Speaker John A. Boehner called last fall's government shutdown a “very predictable disaster” that he warned his fellow Republicans to avoid, but ultimately went along with it at the behest of colleagues intent on a standoff with President Obama over his healthcare law. Making his “Tonight Show” debut Thursday, the Ohio Republican told host Jay Leno that the episode reflected the challenges he faces leading an often rambunctious House...
August 7, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Wonder what President Obama thought of "Turbo"? After his Tuesday night appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” Obama met for dinner with a longtime friend and Democratic donor, DreamWorks Animation SKG Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. The two dined alone at the Hilton Woodland Hills, the president's hotel, according to the White House pool report Wednesday. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to say who picked up the check, the pool report said.
April 5, 2014 | By Scott Collins and Meredith Blake
The scramble to succeed late-night host David Letterman has talent handlers and Las Vegas oddsmakers shouting their picks from the sidelines. Politicians are squabbling over whether his replacement should be based in Los Angeles or New York. But those issues may be the least of the worries for CBS, which must program for a vastly different TV landscape than when it hired Letterman away from NBC 21 years ago to launch its "Late Show" franchise. The late-night field is more crowded, profits aren't what they used to be, and the audience is now a lot older.
April 4, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Production rivals New York and Los Angeles are engaged in a tug of war over the "Late Show. " A day after L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti urged CBS to move "Late Show" to L.A. , the New York City Council followed up with its own charm offensive. "For 32 years, 'The Late Show' with David Letterman has been a proud part of New York City's amazing entertainment culture," New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito wrote in a letter to CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves. "That is why I'm writing to urge you to keep future production and filming of 'The Late Show' right here in New York City, where the program began and where David Letterman found such great success.
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