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Jack Paar

David Letterman, last heir to the Carson legacy, says farewell

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When David Letterman signs off on his last edition of CBS’s The Late Show on Wednesday, he not only ends his remarkable 33-year tenure as the man millions of Americans loved to take to bed. He also draws the curtain on a remarkable television lineage, one that began on a different network with a different host, but that has been part of our cultural heritage for 61 years. The Late Show’s style of talk show began in 1954 on NBC with Tonight with Steve Allen. Allen’s show was the birthplace of the talk show as we know it—an opening monologue, a house band, celebrity interviews, audience participation and cameras that took to the streets for comedy bits. It was created…

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