Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tonight Show Tribute at Universal Studios Hollywood...

This tribute to NBC's Tonight Show was on display at the NBC Universal Experience Museum attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 11, 2010.

The exhibit featured outfits, props and memorabilia used by two of The Tonight Show legends, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno.

The Tonight Show Tribute at Universal Studios Hollywood
Tonight show Tribute Universal Studios Hollywood
Johnny Carson hosted the late-night American talk show from 1962 to 1992. The first ten years of his show were based in New York City, but in May 1972 the show moved permanently to studios in Burbank, California.

Johnny Carson's President Reagan costume and wig,
plus personal makeup kit
Johnny Carson Tonight Show memorabilia
Johnny Carson Tonight Show hair and makeup
The exhibit included a costume and the wig worn by the entertainer Johnny Carson when he was impersonating President Ronald Reagan, plus his own personal makeup kit and supplies.

Memorabilia from The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson Tonight Show display
Johnny Carson rubber chicken prop
Also featured in the tribute was the RCA Orthicon Tube from the camera used for Johnny's debut episode as host on October 2, 1962, the mark from his final show in May 22, 1992 and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Mayor of Burbank. The show's infamous rubber chicken prop was also included as part of the display.

Johnny Carson star of The Tonight Show
Johnny Carson Tonight Show
With big shoes to fill, Jay Leno took up the reigns of The Tonight Show upon Johnny Carson's retirement and hosted the show from May 25, 1992 until May 29, 2009. Rather embarrassingly when he left the show to try another time slot and a series called The Jay Leno Show, it was a ratings disaster and ultimately he returned to The Tonight Show on March 1, 2010, ousting his replacement Conan O'Brien.

Outfits worn by Jay Leno on The Tonight Show
Jay Leno Tonight show suit and sketch costume

Jay Leno host of The Tonight Show
Jay Leno host of The Tonight Show

The TV billboard for the ill-fated Jay Leno Show from September 2009
The Jay Leno Show TV billboard
This tribute was actually on display during the show's host and scheduling fiasco, so it was strange to see actual props from the set of Jay Leno's original Tonight Show run including his desk, microphone and coffee mugs for host and guests, whilst all the problems were occurring at NBC.

Original props and set furniture from
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Jay Leno Tonight Show desk


  1. I am trying to find the black chrome coffee cup that was used in Transporter 3 - any idea's where I can find those?

  2. i'm looking for the same type of cup, though i'll settle for any chrome coffee cups. such a cool idea.


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