MAY 22, 1992: Johnny Carson makes his final appearance as host of The Tonight Show, ending a thirty-year run that made him a household institution for millions of viewers and set the template for all who would follow in the seismic changes to late-night television that resulted from his departure. NBC had already decided to turn the show over to Jay Leno, leaving rival David Letterman to pack his bags for CBS. Eschewing guests on his last show, Carson ended his long tenure on broadcast television alone on a chair in an echo of his predecessor Jack Paar.