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May 27, 2022

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The only truly innovative late-night host was Steve Allen. He created the format; he even created the iconic set that is still used by virtually every late-night host -- the desk, chair, and couch. Allen's wacky style has been credited as inspiration by David Letterman, Robin Williams, and Steve Martin.

Although he can't read music, Allen was a great pianist and the composer of 8500 songs. He was a prolific author, penning more than 50 books in the novel, children's, and non-fiction categories.

Allen created the late-night show for radio while working for KXX in Los Angeles. It was while on the radio that Allen created the bit of taking a microphone into the audience and doing ad-libbed bits.

I loved Steve Allen. He did a local show in LA at one time, and it was even crazier and funnier than the Tonight Shows he presided over. All credit to Jack and Johnny, but Steve was my favorite.

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