TBT: Johnny Carson’s birthday and classic throwback moments in political “late night”

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Today’s TBT commemorates what would have been Johnny Carson’s 89th birthday. The late night icon and so much more wasn’t too keen on expressing his own political views, and was even hesitant to bring political guests on his show for fear of it becoming used as forum to influence the views of his audience. But politics didn’t, and couldn’t, stay out of ‘late night’ for long.

Here are some “throwback” political appearances in the late nights of past. Enjoy!

1960: JFK appears on Jack Parr’s Tonight Show

1968: Richard Nixon delivers a signature line on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In

1975: Ronald Reagan appears on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

1976: Gerald Ford becomes the first president to appear on Saturday Night Live

1992: Bill Clinton plays saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show

2000: George W. Bush delivers a Top Ten list on Late Night with David Letterman

2003: Arnold Schwarzenegger declares his candidacy for California governor on Jay Leno

2008: Sarah Palin raps on Saturday Night Live 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.