via Johnny Carson / YouTube

Given today's fractured media landscape, it's hard to imagine the impact that Johnny Carson had on pop culture.

Throughout most of his run as host of "The Tonight Show" from 1962 to 1992, most of America only had three television channels and there were only two late-night talk shows, at most.

Carson's classy but thoroughly Midwestern persona held up a mirror to American society. His brilliance wasn't just his comedic timing, but his reactions to the celebrities and politicians he interviewed on his show.

Keep Reading
popular