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Tonight was successful, and when Allen moved on to primetime comedy-variety shows in 1956, Jack Paar replaced him as host of Tonight. Carson declined the offer because he feared the difficulty of interviewing celebrities for 105 minutes each day.Bob Newhart, Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx, and Joey Bishop all also declined.
He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Although his show was already successful by the end of the 1960s, during the 1970s, Carson became an American icon and remained so even after his retirement in 1992.
Although he believed moving to daytime television would hurt his career, Who Do You Trust? It was the first show where he could ad lib and interview guests, NBC's Tonight was the late-night counterpart to its early-morning show Today.
Originating in 1954 with host Steve Allen, Tonight was somewhat experimental at the time, as the only previous network late-night program was NBC's Broadway Open House which starred Jerry Lester and Dagmar. led NBC to invite him to take over Tonight a few months before Paar's departure.
He was known for following his family members around saying, "Pick a card, any card." Commissioned an ensign late in the war, Carson was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania in the Pacific.
While in the Navy, Carson posted a 10–0 amateur boxing record, with most of his bouts fought on board the Pennsylvania.