"Her-r-r-re's Johnny!" - Ed
McMahon, Johnny Carson's second banana co-host, opened THE TONIGHT
SHOW with "and now ladies and gentlemen, her-r-r-re's...Johnny!"
from October 2, 1962 to the final show in May of 1992.
Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson
Ed McMahon's elongated nightly introduction originated from his days
as a carnival pitchman where he'd call the races with "And Ther-r-re
TRIVIA NOTE: The phrase
"Her-r-r-re's...Johnny!" was raised to cult status when Jack
Nicholson starred in the horror motion picture The Shining
(1980). Possessed by an evil force, Jack Nicholson chased after his
wife with a fireman's ax. When she locked herself in the bathroom,
Jack chopped a hole in the door, stuck in his head and maniacally
When Johnny Carson left the show his replacement Jay Leno opened
each program by approaching the audience members in the front row
and exchanging handshakes and high-fives. But soon after September
11, 2001, Jay's handshakes stopped for a time.
As he told Parade Magazine "They were still digging bodies
out of the World Trade Center and we didn't want to look like we
were having too much fun...Some thought I stopped shaking hands for
security reasons. No. The audience is searched when they enter. We
were just trying to say, 'We'll be silly but also respectful'."
The TONIGHT SHOW theme song was written by Paul Anka.
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