There Goes Johnny!

Posted: May 24, 1991

NEW YORK — Johnny Carson's 30-year run as host of the "Tonight Show" will end next year, and Carson's frequent sub Jay Leno will replace him, the New York Post reported today.

The Post said that Carson told stunned NBC executives at a meeting of network affiliates yesterday, "This will be the last year I'm doing the Tonight Show. My final broadcast will be May 22, 1992."

Sources told the Post that Leno would be named Carson's successor today.

Leno, 41, has been the show's "permanent guest host" since 1987.

The Post said Carson's sidekick, Ed McMahon, would also retire next year.

In recent years, the 65-year-old Carson has hosted the show just three nights a week and has taken 15 weeks of vacation a year.

Carson reportedly was paid $20 million a year for hosting the show.

The Post had earlier reported that NBC brass had planned to dump Carson after next season if he didn't retire so they could permanently replace him with Leno, who attracts the younger viewers advertisers crave.

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