During the college years I became a night owl and fell into watching The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder instead of Carson. Then came children and my alarm clock flipped to 5:30 am. But I never lost my appreciation for Carson, and I still believe that Bette Midler's performance on his penultimate show is one of the best moments on TV ever. She won an Emmy for it.
The accompanist and arranger, Marc Shaiman, was superb too.
Carson retired 22 years ago. I preferred David Letterman to Jay Leno, but my schedule never again accommodated TV at 11:30 pm. Now Leno has retired, Letterman has announced his retirement, and there are worthy successors (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, etc.) But in my heart, Carson is still the king. Watch this too.