Fresh Air kicks off its late night TV theme week with a 1981 David Letterman interview, in which the host describes how late night TV changed the comedy business, and a 1988 interview with one-time Tonight Show executive producer Fred de Cordova.
Monday night on PBS, American Masters presents a two-hour biography of Johnny Carson. Carson retired 20 year ago this month, and vacated a throne that TV critic David Bianculli says no one has managed to claim since.
Fred de Cordova is a former executive producer of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. We listen back to a 1988 interview with de Cordova. Johnny Carson, the host of The Tonight Show for 30 years died Sunday at the age of 79. The cause was emphysema.
Fred De Cordova, is the former executive producer of "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." In 1988 he wrote his autobiography, "Johnny Came Lately," a behind-the-scenes tell-all about the workings of one of television's longest-running and highest rated shows. De Cordova credits include directing Ronald Reagan in "Bedtime for Bonzo," directing "The Jack Benny Show," "The Burns and Allen Show," and "My Three Sons." (REBROADCAST from 3/21/88)
Leno is celebrating his 5th anniversary as host of The Tonight Show. In this archive interview, he talks with Terry about his life: growing up, his struggling years as a stand-up,taking over The Tonight Show, and his book "Leading with my Chin." (REBROADCAST from 10/21/96)