The Johnny Carson Show

The Johnny Carson Show is a 1955-56 half hour prime time television variety show starring Johnny Carson.

While working as a staff writer on The Red Skelton Show, local Los Angeles television comedian Carson filled in as host when Skelton was injured during a show rehearsal.  As a result of Carson’s performance, CBS created the primetime variety program The Johnny Carson Show, a traditional potpourri of comedy, music, dance, skits and monologues.  It aired on Thursday nights at 10pm ET.

The short-lived 1955-56 series served as a precursor of what would come later for Carson, planting the seeds for sketches he would perform on the later The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson such as “Mighty Carson Art Players”.  However, the show flopped in the ratings and was quickly cancelled.  This show was produced in Los Angeles at CBS Television City.  The show was alternately sponsored by Revlon, and General Foods (Jell-O, instant Sanka, and Minute Rice).

Johnny Carson wound up hosting a daytime game show called Who Do You Trust? (1957–62) until he was tapped by NBC to replace the departing Jack Paar as host of The Tonight Show in 1962.