The Tonight Show is NBC's late-night talk/comedy show and the first and longest running late-night talk show on television. Steve Allen was the very first host of the show in its 1954 debut, but it's longest and most well-known host is Johnny Carson, host from 1962 to 1992. Jay Leno took over in 1992 and enjoyed a great level of success. Leno stepped down for the first time in 2009 and Conan O'Brien took over for a brief time. At the time, NBC gave Leno a prime time talk show, which pushed the Tonight Show to a time slot after midnight. O'Brien left in protest of this move in 2010 and Leno returned until he stepped down in 2014. Jimmy Fallon was the next to take over.

For years the show followed pretty much the same format. The host would begin with a humorous monologue recapping the day's events and the show would always feature comedy skits and celebrity guest stars as well as musical performances and an in-house band. From its 1954 premiere, the show was taped from NBC's Rockefeller Center Headquarters but it moved to California in 1972 for the latter half of Carson's hosting as well as Both of Jay Leno's tenure and Conan O'Brien. The show moved back to Rockefeller Center when Jimmy Fallon took over.