Johnny Carson Gets the Online Treatment

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Yesterday The Hollywood Reporter reported that Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, and Conan O'Brien were the late-night talk show hosts with the biggest online presence and popularity. But a surprising contender is now giving them a run for the money: the original King of Late Night, Johnny Carson.

The Carson Entertainment Group announced the rejuvenation of johnnycarson.com, releasing the first clips of what will amount to 3,500 hours of Carson's The Tonight Show online through the site. The plan is to create a searchable, digital archive of every surviving minute of The Tonight Show; for now there's a decent library of some of the show's iconic moments:

Almost instantly you can find the "Tonight Show" broadcast from May 6, 1981, on which Carson first welcomed a comedian who had "worked a lot of small clubs both in New York and Los Angeles" named Jerry Seinfeld; the April 18, 1986, program on which Carson surprised David Letterman by having Mr. Letterman's beat-up Chevrolet pickup truck taken from his Malibu home to the "Tonight Show" stage; and the May 21, 1992, show on which Bette Midler identified herself as "the last fool Mr. Carson will have to suffer gladly."

Read the full story at The New York Times.

For a preview of the site's content, here's Seinfeld's legendary first appearance on the show:

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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