Leno vs. Letterman; Everything old is new again.

As NBC figures out how to best handle the whole Jay Leno situation the most likely scenario sees Jay returning to the comfortable Tonight Show time slot of 11:30. 

It’s a move that would pit him head to head again with David Letterman.  The discussion got me to looking for a piece I did with the man who created the Tonight Show, television pioneer Steve Allen.

I sat down with Steve early in 1994 not long after Letterman began his Late Show with CBS after bolting NBC when he was passed over to replace Johnny Carson. 

Allen could relate to the situation on a number of levels, not only as first host of the Tonight Show (Jack Paar followed him before Carson took over) but also because Steve Allen once went head to head against Ed Sullivan.

Steve Allen died in 2000 but his insights in the piece were interesting especially when you look at them in the context of what’s happening today,  here’s the story;


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