Before there was Stephen Colbert, or even David Letterman, there was Johnny Carson. Carson was the first true icon of late-night television, and he revolutionized the industry, leading the way for others like Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Trevor Noah, and Greg Oliver.
The 1970s were the golden-age of entertainment, let's take a look at some of the iconic guests that he had on the show in the first year of that decade.
1. Joan Rivers - Guest Host
The late, great Joan Rivers was the original queen of comedy, paving the way for all the women who came after her. Between January and February 1970, she guest-hosted The Late Show with Johnny Carson five times.
2. Truman Capote - The father of true crime writing
Truman Capote appeared on The Late Show multiple times in 1970. He was a polarizing figure who is widely known as the father of true crime writing because of his critically acclaimed book In Cold Blood. The interview featured below is from 1975, as the 1970s videos are unavailable, but just take a look at the presence that Capote brought to every stage he set foot on.
3. Rodney Dangerfield - I don't get no respect.
Some of you may remember Rodney Dangerfield from his role in Natural Born Killers, but that isn't how Dangerfield made his way to the top of the comedy mountain. His catch phrase "I don't get no respect", is recognizable to most people even if they don't realize where it comes from. Check out this video from a 1974 visit to The Late Show.
4. Michael Caine - yes, he's been doing this a long time.
Michael Caine has been acting for decades. Most of the millennial generation will likely remember him from his role in Miss Congeniality, but this classically trained actor can do it all. He is an ageless wonder.
5. Muhammad Ali - The greatest there ever was, is, or ever will be.
Ali appeared on The Late Show a few times over the years, but when he appeared in 1970, while the Vietnam War was still five years from conclusion, it really was an iconic moment for the greatest athlete of all time. If I was Carson, I would have been quite careful about what I had to say to a man that knocked people unconscious for a living.
Carson led the late-night television scene fro decades, who was your favorite guest?