Legendary comedian was visiting “The Late Late Show,” where he said he was being groomed to replace Johnny Carson during one of his salary disputes with NBC
Bob Newhart was already a very well known comedian and actor before he landed his own show in 1972. During an appearance on “The Late Late Show,” Newhart opened up with Craig Ferguson about his stint as the host of “The Tonight Show” before “The Bob Newhart Show” had even been considered.
Speculating that it was in 1970, Newhart said that the network was grooming a lot of potential replacements for Johnny Carson during a salary dispute. And so, Newhart got the chance to guest host the show for three weeks.
“At the end of the three weeks, I was a blithering idiot,” he admitted. When Ferguson looked chagrined, Newhart clarified, “It is the toughest job in the world.” He then gave Ferguson props for doing it so well for 10 years.
Ferguson is retiring from “The Late Late Show” in December 2014. He tried to convince the 84-year-old Newhart to consider taking over the chair, but Newhart only laughed.