1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 3 (USA)
30 minute episodes
27-year-old Johnny Carson was given his own weekly half-hour variety show on KNXT, a CBS station that served the Los Angeles area exclusively, in October 1952.
The Sunday night production followed The Jack Benny show.
Carson wrote the show himself, as well as producing and directing it. The show – budgeted at $25 per episode and performed live in front of a studio audience from a set that did indeed look like someone’s cellar – relied heavily on impressions of favourite TV shows.
Popular comedian Red Skelton became a fan of Johnny through this show and hired him as a writer – which ultimately put him on the path to becoming the household name that he became.