‘The Tonight Show’ is an American late-night talk show broadcast from the Rockefeller Center in New York City and airing on NBC since 1954. It is the world’s longest-running talk show, and the longest running, regularly scheduled, entertainment program in the United States. It is the third-longest-running show on NBC, after only the news and talk shows Today and Meet the Press.
Over the course of more than sixty years, ‘The Tonight Show’ has undergone only minor title changes. It aired under the name Tonight for several of its early years, eventually settling on The Tonight Show after the seating of long-time host Johnny Carson in 1962. In later decades, network programmers, advertisers, and the show’s announcers would refer to the show by including the name of the host, for example it is currently announced as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In 1957, the show briefly tried a more news-style format. It has otherwise remained a talk show throughout its run.
Outside of its brief run as a news show in 1951, Conan O’Brien is the shortest-serving host. O’Brien hosted 146 episodes over the course of less than eight months. Current host Jimmy Fallon took the helm on February 17, 2014. Fallon had previously hosted Late Night, and before Late Night he was a popular member of the cast on ‘Saturday Night Live’.