In one of his last “Tonight Show” monologues, in 1992, Johnny Carson informed his audience that a virus had struck the program’s computers, wiping out “29 years of our writers’ material.”
Carson playing the Everyman character Floyd R. Turbo on the “Tonight Show.”
“Three of the best jokes you’ve ever heard in your life,” he said. “Gone forever.”
Now, nearly two decades later, that gag and more than 3,500 hours of Carson’s “Tonight Show” have been preserved digitally and will begin making their way onto the Web.
On Wednesday the Carson Entertainment Group is expected to announce the start of two new projects that will give Carson an Internet presence he has never had before.
The first is a rejuvenated Carson Web site, at johnnycarson.com, that will feature video clips from the 30-year history of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
The second is an online archive — available at first only to industry professionals — where users can search a digital inventory of Carson’s program and watch nearly every surviving minute of his “Tonight Show” run.