“I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight” were Johnny Carson’s final words on his last show 20 years ago tonight, notes Bill Lucey. Carson did 4,531 shows and interviewed about 24,000 guests in his 30 years as “Tonight Show” host.
The New York Times’s Bernard Weinraub covered Carson’s final show:
As a parting shot, Mr. Carson ribbed not only General Electric, the owner of NBC, but Vice President Dan Quayle, a favorite target, as well.
“I want to thank Dan Quayle for making my final week so fruitful,” Mr. Carson said. He added that now that he was leaving the show, “I’m going to join the cast of ‘Murphy Brown’ and become a surrogate father to that kid.”