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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
President Obama continues his real campaign march tonight with a visit to Jay Leno's couch at the "Tonight Show. " And then Friday afternoon, it's on to what last time was essentially a campaign rally masking as an interview on MTV. What hath Bill Clinton wrought with his saxophone and Arsenio Hall? I admit I was one of the analysts who celebrated Clinton taking the presidential campaign to new entertainment TV venues and presumably audiences. But after seeing Obama on Comedy Central last week talking about the deaths of four Americans as not being "optimal," I have come to believe Obama has taken this TV game to an extreme that demeans the process, the office and possibly even the sacrifice of Americans who are serious and selfless enough to risk their lives for this nation.
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By Chris E. Hayner Zap2it | February 22, 2014
Of course something special has to happen when  Justin Timberlake  made his inaugural appearance on  "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. " The two BFFs presented the fifth installment of the "History of Rap," rhyming their way through just about every hip hop hit you can imagine. They pay tribute to everyone, from Run DMC and Jay Z to N.W.A. and Kanye West. There isn't a much better way to close out Fallon's first week as host of "The Tonight Show. "
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By David Zurawik | May 25, 1992
"We have a new show, a new look, new desk, new sets, new backdrop, new staff," Jay Leno said in a recent interview. And tonight at 11:35 on WMAR-Channel 2, the all-new "Tonight Show" starring Leno debuts.Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen, of course, signed off Friday night after the longest goodbye since Kareem Abdul Jabbar left the NBA.Now it's Leno's turn to see if he can find a profitable niche for NBC in the multichannel world of late- night cable and syndicated competition.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2013
In a broad-ranging interview on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama addressed Russia's recently passed anti-gay laws by saying he has "no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them. " The comments come about six months before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia -- a global event that has increased the amount of international attention being paid to Russia's new laws, one of which makes it illegal to spread "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.
FEATURES
By Los Angeles Times | October 3, 1991
HOLLYWOOD -- David Brenner clearly remembers the night of Jan. 8, 1971. The comedian had $3 in his pocket and had to borrow $100 to buy a suit for his first appearance on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.""I only did it as a lark," Mr. Brenner recalled. "I wanted to get on television once. . . . In 18 months as a comic, I [had] only made $8,000."That all changed in less than 24 hours. "By the end of the business day after I did Carson, I had $10,000 in jobs," Mr. Brenner said. "I took them all."
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By Diane Werts and Diane Werts,Newsday | August 14, 1991
BURBANK, Calif. -- Here in beautiful downtown Burbank -- a drab slab of concrete lined with nondescript office buildings and mom-and-pop fast-food stands -- the faithful line up weekday afternoons at 4 hoping to be granted admittance to America's entertainment mecca."
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | May 25, 1991
Johnny Carson, the icon of late-night television whose retirement has been rumored for years, has made it official: He'll step down as host of "The Tonight Show" on May 22, 1992.The 65-year-old comedian told NBC affiliates at the network's annual meeting in New York this week that he would stop hosting the showwhen his contract expires -- after what will be his 30th consecutive year at the helm.NBC yesterday assured its affiliates and viewers that Carson's departure does not mean the end of the program.
FEATURES
By Stuart Elliott and Stuart Elliott,New York Times News Service | April 30, 1992
NEW YORK -- If you listen carefully amid the applause for Johnny Carson as he prepares to leave late-night television after 30 years, you might hear the sound of cash registers ringing.Between now and May 22, when the final "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" will run, NBC will raise its rates for a 30-second commercial, in stages, about fivefold -- yes, fivefold -- to almost $200,000 for the finale.That instant inflation from the regular price of $40,000 will place the show's rates on a par with what marketers like Miller Brewing and Wendy's might pay for a 30-second commercial on a hit prime-time series like "Roseanne."
FEATURES
June 6, 1991
Exclusive guest host Jay Leno will take over as host of "The Tonight Show" following Johnny Carson's final appearance on May 22, 1992, announced NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield.Leno joins Carson, Steve Allen and Jack Paar in an elite circle o hosts of the most highly acclaimed late-night show in television history. Carson announced the date of his last show last month.When Leno takes over as host next spring, the show returns to NBC Productions, by which it was previously produced until Carson Productions assumed responsibility in September 1980.
FEATURES
By Rob Hiaasen and By Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | December 11, 1998
Two comedy giants are scheduled to square off tonight, when Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke appears with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."In his Tuesday monologue, Leno ribbed Baltimore for having gonorrhea and syphilis rates far above the national average, and showed a supposed billboard on Interstate 95 that declared: "Welcome to Baltimore, please put on your condom now." After defending the city in a fax to Leno, Schmoke was invited to appear on the show via satellite from Baltimore.As of press time, Schmoke and his top comedy advisers at City Hall were still scripting the mayor's "Tonight Show" gig. Reliable sources say the mayor will attempt a "funny" exchange with Leno, a seasoned stand-up comic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2013
NBC Sunday announced that Seth Meyers will replace Jimmy Fallon who is moving up to the "Tonight Show" in 2014. It's a great choice. Meyers is a huge talent. NBC is going to be much better off once Jay Leno is gone. Here's the release: NBC names the versatile Emmy-winning writer/performer Seth Meyers as the new host of "Late Night" when Jimmy Fallon moves to "The Tonight Show" in 2014.  Lorne Michaels will executive produce “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and Michael Shoemaker will remain with the franchise as producer.  “Late Night with Seth Meyers” will originate from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
President Obama continues his real campaign march tonight with a visit to Jay Leno's couch at the "Tonight Show. " And then Friday afternoon, it's on to what last time was essentially a campaign rally masking as an interview on MTV. What hath Bill Clinton wrought with his saxophone and Arsenio Hall? I admit I was one of the analysts who celebrated Clinton taking the presidential campaign to new entertainment TV venues and presumably audiences. But after seeing Obama on Comedy Central last week talking about the deaths of four Americans as not being "optimal," I have come to believe Obama has taken this TV game to an extreme that demeans the process, the office and possibly even the sacrifice of Americans who are serious and selfless enough to risk their lives for this nation.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2012
From Norman Rockwell and Leonard Bernstein to Baltimore's Cab Calloway, no one does biography like "American Masters" on PBS. I've been reviewing these superb productions for all of the 26 seasons that "American Masters" has been on the air, and have written some variation of that line for at least 25 of them. And tonight's "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night" is one of the 10 greatest biographies this sublime series has delivered. Maybe one of the five best. But let's not quibble.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer | January 18, 2010
A ny working stiff watching the temper tantrum Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien threw on national television last week must be feeling something besides a tickle in the ribs. Catharsis. After just seven months in the job he waited years for, Mr. O'Brien woke up one morning to find that his employers wanted to push him deeper into the night to make room for Jay Leno. He not only refused to go, he pushed back. Unlike the rest of the American work force, most of which has found itself badly used by its employers of late, Mr. O'Brien got to rip into the NBC suits in front of a national television audience.
FEATURES
By DAVID ZURAWIK | June 16, 2009
You have to admit late-night TV has become a lot more interesting in the past two weeks, since Jay Leno, who consistently dominated the competition, left for prime time. Two weeks ago all eyes were on Conan O'Brien, who struggled in his much-hyped opening nights to find the right voice - especially when it came to the monologue, his great and glaring weakness. Last week, David Letterman was all the buzz with crude jokes about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughters - and Palin's angry response that stopped just short of labeling him a sexual "pervert" - her word, not mine.
NEWS
By Rob Long | December 29, 2008
Fifteen years ago, I had a stupid idea. I was the co-executive producer on TV's long-running comedy Cheers. NBC, the network on which Cheers appeared, was faltering: Ratings were sliding, money was tight, management was nervous and Johnny Carson, legendary host of the Tonight Show, was retiring, and no one knew how his replacement, Jay Leno, would do. I was 28 then, and like all 28-year-olds, I had no idea exactly how stupid I was. So when I found myself...
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 24, 2005
Johnny Carson, the boyishly handsome comedian whose mix of heartland innocence and after-hours mischief on NBC's The Tonight Show dominated late-night television for three decades, died yesterday of emphysema at his home in Malibu, Calif. The performer, who was 79, was surrounded by family members when he died, said nephew Jeff Sotzing. Carson's reign over late-night television spanned 1962 to 1992, a period during which network TV became America's primary cultural influence; no one has had as long and strong a hold on the American public's affection.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | January 24, 2005
It didn't take much, maybe a wave of the hand, a thumbs-up sign, or a simple laugh. Just some indication the guy sitting behind the desk liked you, that was all a struggling young comic needed. When Johnny Carson died yesterday at age 79, comedians all over America lost the best promoter they ever had. By all accounts, Carson loved nothing more than showcasing new talent. "Bill Cosby started on his show, George Carlin started on his show. I started on it, and David Brenner," Joan Rivers, a favorite of Carson's until she started her own show, told CNN yesterday.
NEWS
By DAVID ZURAWIK | December 16, 2008
The fourth-place network, NBC, shows its unerring instinct for cheapening the prime-time landscape with Momma's Boys, a new reality series debuting at 10 tonight. The format for this trash-o-rama produced by the great Ryan Seacrest: Three mothers, three sons and 32 single women move into a mansion and act on some of their worst impulses. I say "some" because no one murders anyone - at least not in the pilot. While one of the mothers is a racist, another seems to give new meaning to the word "suffocating."
NEWS
By DAVID ZURAWIK and DAVID ZURAWIK,david.zurawik@baltsun.com | October 6, 2008
I use this space almost every day to tell you about prime-time programs that look appealing. There is plenty of that tonight, ranging from Heroes on NBC at 9, to CSI: Miami on CBS at 10. In fact, the 10 p.m. network lineup is pretty good across the board with NBC offering the second week of its pleasantly off-kilter detective series Life, while ABC serves up another episode of Boston Legal. But every so often something special and a little different comes along, and that's what I want to highlight today: the season premiere of the PBS children's series Arthur.
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