Night Watch: 50 Years of Late Night Television (The Praeger Television Collection)
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Today, well into the era of Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, Ferguson, and Stewart, and 50 years after Steve Allen wrote the blueprint for Late Night TV on NBC's The Tonight Show, late night talk TV remains as Johnny Carson once described it: the last arena of television as it was originally intended. Through first-hand accounts with the stars and principle players of late night, Brioux recounts all of late night's milestones and highlights. This is primarily the story of the five men who have dominated the late night scene since its inception: Allen, Paar, Carson, Letterman, and Leno, but is also includes a forecast of how the next Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien will do when he takes over from Jay Leno in 2008.
Night Watch: 50 Years of Late Night Television tells the story of how late night talk shows began and how they have maintained their longstanding traditions. Through first-hand accounts with the stars and principle players of late night, Brioux recounts all of late night's milestones and highlights, from Jack Paar's famous water closet battle with the NBC censors, to Tiny Tim's bizarre 1969 wedding on The Tonight Show, to Drew Barrymore's spontaneous birthday flash on Letterman's desk.
Beyond the Big Five, there are also stories from and about other popular hosts as well as late night's biggest flops. More than just a chronological history of these shows, Night Watch argues that the nightly talk shows helped shape and alter public opinion, made and unmade presidents and other leaders, and had a far greater impact on the political and social landscape in America than any other form of network television programming. From Carson's nightly jabs at Nixon during the Watergate era to Bill Clinton's shades and sax on Arsenio Hall, late night viewers have had a box seat on the political landscape.