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'American Masters: Johnny Carson -- King of Late Night'

Johnny CarsonSteve MartinJay LenoEllen DeGeneresConan O'BrienDavid LettermanDrew Carey

Filmmaker Peter Jones' superb PBS documentary profiles the late-night-television icon who rose from Midwestern roots to become one of the most powerful and popular entertainers on the home screen.

Surprisingly, much of the late, famously private Carson's story is told in his own words, thanks to a bounty of archival clips. "Tonight Show" comrades Doc Severinsen and (also in earlier clips) Ed McMahon also comment, as do talk-show descendants David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien ... plus a number of comics whose careers Carson helped launch, including Steve Martin, Drew Carey, Garry Shandling and Ellen DeGeneres. **** (Not rated: P) (Also on Blu-ray)

Buy 'American Masters: Johnny Carson -- King of Late Night' on DVD.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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