Paar began his broadcasting career in radio, working first in Cleveland, Ohio and later, throughout the Midwest. After World War II, Paar tried his hand at acting and comedy, frequently appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was during an impressive stint as a guest host on Jack Benny's radio show that he caught the attention of NBC officials who eventually offered him his most well known role, host of The Tonight Show. Paar was the program's host from 1957 to 1962; after 1959 it was known as The Jack Paar Show.
During Paar's career, he was the cause of two international incidents. In 1959, he was criticized for his interview with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Two years later, he broadcasted his show from Berlin just as the Berlin Wall was going up. His last sign-off in 1962 featured him, almost in tears, saying "I am leaving The Tonight Show. There must be a better way to make a living than this." With that, he walked out of the empty studio, his dog by his side.
Later that year, he hosted a Friday night variety show that lasted three years on NBC. In 1986, NBC hosted a special featuring Paar entitled Jack Paar Comes Home.
Paar died at his Greenwich, Connecticut home as a result of a long illness at age 85 with his daughter and wife by his side.
Jack Paar Facts
|Birth Name||Jack Harold Paar|
|Birthday||May 1, 1918|
|Date of death||January 27, 2004 (age 85)|
|The Jack Paar Collection|
|The Jack Paar Collection by Shout Factory|
|Smart Television with Jack Paar|
|RKO Varieties Triple Feature|
|World of Comedy|