Former Carson foil Tommy Newsom, April 30 Tommy Newsom, the sax player who served as a comedic foil to Johnny Carson for 30 years, died on April 30 at age 78. No cause of death was immediately given. Newsom was a studio musician who was hired to tour with Benny Goodman in the early 1960s. By 1962, he had joined the NBC-TV staff orchestra that played on several shows, including "The Tonight Show." The NBC gig was supposed to be temporary, but as Newsom told the Daily Press after Carson died in 2005, "They hired me for a week -- and 30 years later, it ended."
Los Angeles Times