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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Carson Star Interviews on TCM

The most beloved King of Late Night is coming to Turner Classic Movies in a showcase of the most memorable all-star interviews. Conducted by the master himself, Johnny Carson, the stars include the biggest names in Hollywood history.

It’s common knowledge that for 30 years, Johnny Carson ruled the airwaves as the "King of Late Night TV". It sounds like typical Hollywood hyperbole, but the truth is that Carson truly earned this moniker. No one can dispute that the white-haired cherub delighted generations of fans with his sparkling wit, his impeccable comic timing and engaging interview style. Now, those who were too young (and those who weren’t even born) can witness the magic of his personality directly. Next summer, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will unveil Carson on TCM - a showcase of memorable interviews from Carson's three decades as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

The bad news is that you’ll have to wait until summer to see any of these famed interviews, many of which have not aired since they first premiered. The good news is that TCM has licensed 50 of these wonderful interactions from the Carson Entertainment Group archives, which including chats with some of Hollywood's biggest stars including Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Bette Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Doris Day, Kirk Douglas, Sally Field, Henry Fonda, Charlton Heston, William Holden, Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, Ronald Reagan, Burt Reynolds, George C. Scott, Red Skelton, James Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters. That’s a heck of a list!

Carson on TCM will kick off as five-interview showcases, then air as single-interview segments placed before or after the films of those same stars featured on the network. These brief programs include conversations with more than twenty Academy Award winners; hilarious conversations with comedians Mel Brooks, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Robin Williams; an adorable interview with a seven-year-old Drew Barrymore (whose now the co-host of TCM's The Essentials); a notable discussion with writer Truman Capote; and timeless television moments with both Diane Keaton, and Susan Sarandon.

You’ve been given plenty of notice, so I urge you to mark your calendars now so that you won’t miss out on seeing Johnny Carson in his prime element – amongst the stars in engaging conversations. And either revisit or experience for the first time how Johnny brought out the best in the people he interviewed - by listening carefully and making his guests feel as though they were talking to a friend. Never mind those few million others who just happened to be eavesdropping.

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