Carson grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska and served from 1943 to 1946 in the United States Navy. He then got a job in radio, switched to game broadcasts later. A little later he wrote for the comedian Red Skelton. Before taking over The Tonight Show, he was a presenter on various shows, including the Johnny Carson Show and the game show Who Do You Trust?.
On 2 October 1962, he was host of the Tonight Show, the first late night show in the world. His co- host was 30 years Ed McMahon. As the first guest he received Groucho Marx. For millions of Americans, the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson became a nightly ritual. The show started with a signature tune that had Carson composed together with Paul Anka (Johnny 's Theme ) and was recorded on vinyl by Henry Mancini, and the announcement Heeeeeeere McMahon 's Johnny. There was a short comedic monologue by Carson. The show influenced comedy, interviews and music. Carson's trademark was a golf swing at the end of his monologues.
Sensational was the audience, as the singer Tiny Tim married on December 17, 1969 during the show Miss Vicky. 1973 Carson surprised the mentalist and stage magician Uri Geller, who claimed at that time to have supernatural powers by handing him spoon from his desk drawer. Geller was unable to bend it, due to " various things that were in the game ," said Geller later. 1985 was Boris Becker guest in Carson's show, after the latter had won as the youngest tennis player of all time is the most important tennis tournament in the world at Wimbledon. With 67 years Carson ended his career after 29 years, 7 months and 21 days in 1992. The Tonight Show Jay Leno took over. Carson's sovereignty, so once ruled the New York Times, made him " perhaps the most prominent commentator " of the country, except perhaps by journalist Walter Cronkite.
Carson was married four times and divorced three times. With his first wife, Joan Morrill Wolcott, he had three children. His last marriage to Alexis Maas lasted 20 June 1987 until his death. Carson was honored in 1987 with induction into the Television Hall of Fame. He received six Emmy Awards and the George Foster Peabody Award. In 1992 him the Medal of Freedom by the U.S. President was awarded. In addition, Carson was a member of the Skeptics Society, a society for the promotion of scientific and skeptical thinking.
Carson died on January 23, 2005 in Los Angeles ( California ) from the consequences of pulmonary emphysema.