Johnny Carson, the former host of NBC's Tonight Show, died on Sunday at the age of 79 after losing a battle with the respiratory disease emphysema.
He appeared on network television every night for three decades, and launched the careers of Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and George Carlin.
President George W Bush said Carson "had a profound influence on American life and entertainment".
You sent us your memories and tributes for the TV legend Johnny Carson.
Thank you Johnny for reflecting what we were and what I wish we were as a country today - genuine, warm, inviting, honest, thoughtful, straight forward, accepting of all creatures, all religions and creeds and a generosity of spirit and action. Bless you.
Carol, New Jersey, USA
A lot of attention has been given to Mr. Carson contributions to comedy and starting the careers of comedians. More important was his style as an interviewer and total focus on his guests. He brought out the best in his guests. He made everyone look good. He even made politicians look good! He was the world's showcase for talent.
John, St. Louis, MO, USA
I loved to watch Johnny when I was kid in the '70s, sneaking downstairs after my parents were asleep to watch "The Tonight Show". These clandestine late night viewings provided so much enjoyment to me, and he and his regular guests and band seemed almost like my secret, second family! His comedy was especially well-appreciated, and the "Tea Time Matinee" sketches with Carol Wayne will always stand out in my mind as superb pieces of absurdity!
Dan McKinney, Center Valley, Pa.
People say things like, "They broke the mould when they made...". In Mr. Carson's case, I don't think there was ever a mould to begin with. He was a true original, and no one else has ever had the effect that he had, on people of all ages. A class act, all the way. He will be dearly missed.
Donna, St Paul, MN USA
I was 12 years old when Mr. Carson retired, and I remember then feeling a profound sense of loss. My mom always let my brother and I stay up to see the show. What a wonderful memory that will always be for me. Thank you, Mr. Carson, and to the many people who helped that show come to life every week night.
Krista Bernal, Philadelphia, PA. U.S.A.
I have just turned 14 and my grandmother still tells me stories of Johnny on the Tonight Show. He made people laugh and to me that is a powerful thing. He made you feel like you knew him beyond the TV screen. He will truly be missed.
Jordan Smith, Bethlehem, PA, USA
I remember my dad would never go to bed without watching Johnny Carson. What a great gentleman. We moved from England to the USA and since I was so young I was not allowed up past 9pm. I never knew till later what I was missing. What a great show!
Deborah, TX, USA
I know I may not be old enough to remember a lot about Johnny, but I do remember lying in my bed at my grandma's when my parents were split watching him as I fell asleep. So long Johnny. You will be missed!
Mary Jo Herbert, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
The number of baby boomers that got into serious trouble for sneaking out of bed to watch the Tonight Show must be staggering! What a sweet memory... it was always worth the trouble! Good night, Johnny. God bless you. Be at peace.
Debbie, Corona, California
When actor Warren Beatty had lost the Oscar for his movie (Heaven Can Wait) and your comment was, "now Mr Beatty Can Wait", with your great sense of humour and yet you put such joy and happiness into people's heart and soul. The only thing I can say now is that you deserve heaven. You are one of kind Johnny, and sure will be missed.
Abdul Rahman Thani, Dubai, UAE
I have been explaining to my British husband, what all the fuss is about. Being 46 Johnny was around for a lot of my life. I still remember the show being in NYC and Johnny living in West NY, NJ. He had a great sense of timing and put his guests at ease and had a way of going with the flow whatever happened on the show (in the most funny way).
The monologue was always my favourite. They showed one today and for example he said something like "did you ever think vice president Quayle doesn't have a full set of irons in his golf bag". People who grew up watching him just loved him. He will be missed.
Carol, New Jersey, USA
One of my fondest childhood memories is falling asleep nearly every night to the sound of my father, in another part of the house, guffawing at some joke Johnny made in his monologue. It's the sound of safety, happiness and blissful ignorance.
Gail Philbin, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Thanks for keeping me company all those years Johnny. You truly are the king.
John Gee, Seattle, WA
Thanks Johnny for your wonderful show, your wit, your charm, and taking an hour out of our bedtimes to give us a smile and a laugh. We've missed you for nearly thirteen years and we'll miss you for a lifetime.
John and Jennifer, US
My first memories (I am 50 now) are sneaking a peak of Carson while my parents thought I was sleeping. I sure wish he would have done a few "anti-smoking" ads for today's kids...
Dave Grossman, Seattle, WA
We also have watched Johnny and even as international students back in the 80s and from a different part of the world you certainly made us laugh. No deed is lost and you had multiplications Johnny for all the people you made happy.
I grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska and it's wonderful to see the legacy he has left behind in his hometown in the Cancer Centre, museum and the Johnny Carson theatre at the high school. The entire town of Norfolk and state of Nebraska will miss this amazing man!
Amy Hruska, Omaha Nebraska, USA
Johnny was one of the bright lights of my late teens. I would stay up and watch the Tonight Show and go to school the next day dog tired, but snickering through my classes at his monologues, characters and repartee. He was missed when he retired and I'll remember him fondly.
Richard Adams, Capitola, USA
In 1977, we lost the King of Rock n' Roll - Now, must face the loss of the King of Late Night Entertainment - Fans will never forget Johnny.
Andrée Bouchard, Ottawa, Canada
I grew up watching Johnny from the age of twelve. He was pure class and I've missed him terribly since 1992, and that was just as the guy bringing laughter into my life. His friends will feel an even greater void now that Johnny has passed. Today I am grateful for things like ice cream because they don't go away. I'm sure there are lots of happy folks in heaven today because they are getting one funny guy.
John Burris, Coshocton, OH
When I was a child it was always a treat to be able to stay up and watch Johnny Carson. He was the Barometer of the country. The world is a much colder and less funny world without him. Godspeed Mr Carson
Sam, Socorro, USA
A piece of Americana gone. The one thing I had hoped to do on a cross country motorcycle trip back in 2000, was to run across Johnny in Malibu. It wasn't to be, but my pals still rib me about it! Goodbye to the only late night host that ever mattered.
Brian Killion, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, US
You provided a happy ending everyday to a very rough time in my life. You will be greatly missed.
Jim Cahoe, Louisville, KY
Part of who I am today is a credit to Johnny. I miss him dearly.
Dan, Batesville, IN, USA
Mr. Carson ability to be respectful, regardless of what was happening on his show, and his grace with everyone, will always be the benchmark for a civility on television that is long gone. Thanks Johnny.
Glenn Rexach, USA
In a former life as a junior record exec in Hollywood, I occasionally acted as a chaperone for recording artists visiting the Tonight Show as far as the 'Green Room'. Mr Carson was always a consummate pro. He was understated and charismatic at the same time. I remember him saying he thought a suitable epitaph, when the inevitable happened, was '"I'll be right back." Johnny, wherever you are, break a leg on the monologue.
Barry G, London, England
Johnny Carson will be sorely missed - a class act. Hopefully, NBC will decide to start airing some of his old shows in for a new generation to appreciate as well.
Barry Southers, Burgin, KY
So many years of laughter, so many memories... Rest in peace Johnny.
Bill Apostole, Utah, USA
Johnny Carson was the gold standard for late night chat show hosts. He retired in 1992 and nobody has been able to fill his shoes yet. He was the best and I still miss him.
Dan Braverman, Minnesota, USA
Johnny Carson was truly the embodiment of an entertainer that will live on in the hearts and careers he helped along. His wit, humour and most of all warmth to his audience will never be equalled. I will truly miss his comedic timing and how he changed the lives of those he touched. Heeeres Johnny!
Mitch Bohn, Agoura Hills, California
Johnny Carson was the epitome of a late-night talk show host. He was charming, witty, and knew how to make his guest feel comfortable so they would talk in a disarming manner. There will never be another Carson. All other talk show hosts pale in the comparison.
John D. Morgan, Chicago, USA
In a word - class. For years I had fallen asleep happy due to a laugh or chuckle thanks to Johnny. I hope he fell asleep with the same great thoughts.
I remember watching the tonight show and witnessing some of the funniest moments of American television history. Thank you Johnny, for delighting us and leaving me with some great memories.
Andrea Carpenter, Maastricht, The Netherlands
We moved here from UK in 84. I had seen the Johnny Carson show before during visits here. Arriving in 84 with my wife and young family was different though. Times were tough for a few years. We always watched the Johnny Carson show, never missed it. He was a truly lovely man with a great sense of humour. No matter how bad the day had been I always went to sleep with a smile on my face. Thanks Johnny and God bless you.
John Young, Milwaukee, USA
Johnny has been missed since he retired, and now the feeling is permanent. I watched him on the Tonight Show almost from the beginning. His was the standard to measure all other shows of the genre. He could be humorous, probing, and intellectual all at the same time with a sense of civility and grace not found on TV anymore. He brought everyone from Woody Allen to Carl Sagan into our homes. As a kid I often hoped to do something interesting enough to warrant being a guest on the show. Alas that never happened. Goodbye Johnny.
Tom, Virginia, USA
What a tremendous talent Johnny was. He made us laugh without any crude or obscene language and always did it with the utmost class. The entertainment industry has lost a giant the likes of which we shall sadly never see.
Charles Kiraly, Montreal, Canada
Johnny was the greatest entertainer. Without Johnny Carson, late night shows wouldn't have been what he made them to be today. He will be sorely missed.
Anonymous, Niagara Falls, Canada
Even though he's gone he will be missed, there's a little piece of him in everyone who had watched his show.
When I was a teenager I stayed up late to hear his monologue. As an adult, I did the same. Carson knew how to bite people without drawing blood - and he'd make fun of himself as well. Midwestern guy takes New York and LA for 30 years¿ not bad.
Richard Wiggins, Okemos, Michigan, USA
Millions of American children share this memory: When you heard the theme to the Tonight Show playing, along with the words, "Heeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!", you became consumed with the giddy knowledge that you were up way past your bedtime!
Christine, New York, USA
I met him once, he was exactly the same on and off camera; surprisingly receptive and humble... his type are always missed!
Steph Christen, Lyon, France
I only had the opportunity to watch Johnny Carson when I was very young, but I remember it distinctly. Certain weekends we would stay with my grandmother, and on those Friday nights I was allowed to stay up late enough to watch the show with my mother and grandmother. We would sit on her pulled-out hide-a-bed with a snack and enjoy the program on an old television with poor reception.
Jennifer Prichard, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Life was never better than getting a midnight snack, curling up in bed and listening to Johnny's monologue. I'll miss our dates, Johnny!
Brenda Soto, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
We never went to bed without watching Johnny. He will be deeply missed.
Susan Kanellakis, Maine, USA
The Tonight Show during the 60s was a place where multiple generations could sit and laugh together. My mother-in-law when we were visiting her home always stopped the conversation at 10:30 pm. and said "Johnny's on". I loved her choice of programming. Later when her mind was failing from Alzheimer's I bought her a series of tapes of his old shows. At her death that was the one thing I asked for back. It was one way I could remember a time when we both laughed at the same thing no matter the age difference or difference of political opinion.
Anonymous, Rochester Hills, USA