Thursday, January 27, 2005

Allan Havey and Johnny Carson

One other thought on Johnny Carson. Lots of columnists and commentators mentioned the list of people who tried to unseat The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson as the number one late-night talk show. Nobody mentioned Night After Night with Allan Havey, the Comedy Channel talk show that ran in the early 90s as part of the original lineup on the cable channel that later changed its name to Comedy Central.

It ran briefly, for three years or so, and went through a couple of format changes along the way. It was a funny show with a small, devoted following. It was never conceived as a Tonight Show challenger, but was a first step for a cable network trying to forge an identity. Havey and Night After Night made one of the classiest tributes to Carson and it didn't happen this week. When Carson bid farewell to the Tonight Show in 1992, Night After Night went dark for the evening. It didn't show a rerun, it went dark. The comedy channel put up a graphic for the entire time the tonight show aired (east coast feed) saying it had ceased broadcasting in deference to Carson. I don't know if that was Allan's idea, but it was a solid gesture and should be remembered.

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