Individual 1985

Personal Award: Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson is about to embark on his 25th year at the helm of the Tonight show. Unbelievable! A quarter of a century of humor from the man who, along with his predecessors, Steve Allen and Jack Paar, lifted late-night television from the “graveyard.” Who is indebted to this pioneer of the pun? Just about everybody. NBC, of course, plus millions of Americans. Many of these millions have been privileged to see him develop and perfect his unique skills through the years. A lot of youngsters are also seeing him on the re-runs of The Best of Carson. Johnny Carson has become an American institution, a household word, the most widely quoted American, even venerable, if you like to use that word. The Peabody Board felt the time had come to recognize the contributions that Johnny has made to television, to humor, and to America. With this recognition goes the hope that we might repeat it in his fiftieth year of keeping us all from getting to bed on time. A Peabody Award to Johnny Carson.