Late Night: A Timeline

Or a brief history of how Johnny Carson pretty much stood alone for 30 years

I created this little timeline graphic as a crutch for my non-American self trying to navigate the complex history, culture, and inter-network rivalries of American Late Night TV shows.

Late Night Timeline

There are some shows that should be mentioned but aren’t, because they weren’t on the big three:

  1. The Late Show/The Joan Rivers Show
  2. The Arsenio Hall Show
  3. The Jon Stewart Show on MTV
  4. The various syndicated versions of The Dick Cavett Show
  5. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central (Stewart says Letterman called them the “cable twins”)
  6. Conan on TBS (my current favourite)

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