The third man to host NBC’s late night comedy/talk show Tonight, Johnny Carson, assumed his duties on this date. Carson had gained attention on a host and panelist on several variety and game shows, like To Tell The Truth, along with serving as substitute host for his Tonight predecessor Jack Paar. In his 30 years at the helm of Tonight Carson helped build the program into one of the most respected and enduring entertainment brands of the 20th century.
Carson reigned as the King of Late Night until May 22, 1992, when the Late Night Empire was formally dissolved into a loose agglomeration of warring fiefdoms by the Treaty of Burbank. -A.D.
Also on October 1
1955: The Honeymooners premieres on CBS. Based on characters star Jackie Gleason had created in sketches on Cavalcade of Stars, the sitcom became an all-time classic despite airing only 39 episodes over two seasons.
1984: AMC launches. Originally a premium channel devoted to showing older films, the erstwhile American Movie Classics has in recent years rebranded itself as a home for original drama programming such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead.
1992: Turner Broadcasting creates The Cartoon Network. The cable channel served as an outlet for the library of Hanna B arbera cartoons which Turner had recently acquired, eventually developing original shows and its quasi-spinoff Adult Spin bloc.
Today’s Birthdays: Julie Andrews, musical hostess (77); Tom Bosley, Cunningham père (d. 2010); Stephen Collins, man of the cloth (65); Esai Morales, NYPD cop (50); George Peppard, loves it when a plan comes together (d. 1994); Jurnee Smollett, East Dillon Lion (26); Christopher Titus, sitcom eponym (48).