Casting the Perfect Johnny Carson Biopic: Top 5 Actors Who Could Play the Late-Night Legend

Casting the Perfect Johnny Carson Biopic: Top 5 Actors Who Could Play the Late-Night Legend

Casting the Perfect Johnny Carson Biopic: Top 5 Actors Who Could Play the Late-Night Legend

Johnny Carson’s influence on late-night television is undeniable. As the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for three decades, he set the stage for future late-night hosts like David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert. Known as the “king of late-night TV,” Carson’s impact on pop culture is still felt today. Although there were talks of a Johnny Carson biopic in 2013, the project never materialized. It’s high time for a major studio to honor Carson’s incredible career with a proper biopic. Here are five actors who could bring the legendary comedian to life on the big screen.

Martin Short

If the biopic focuses on Carson’s later years, Martin Short would be an ideal choice. Not only do they share similar facial features and height, but Short was also a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As a comedy legend himself, Short would have no trouble portraying Carson on screen. With memorable roles in Saturday Night Live, Three Amigos, Father of the Bride, and Mars Attack!, as well as his current role in Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building, Short has the comedic chops to do justice to Carson’s legacy.

Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman is another strong contender for the role of Johnny Carson. With the help of makeup, Freeman could easily transform into the late-night icon. Although Freeman is British, his acting prowess should allow him to master Carson’s distinct voice. Freeman’s impressive resume includes roles in The Hobbit trilogy, Black Panther, and Captain America: Civil War, proving he has the versatility to tackle the role of Johnny Carson.

Ansel Elgort

If the biopic explores Carson’s early career, Ansel Elgort would be an excellent choice to portray the young comedian. Elgort bears a striking resemblance to a young Carson, making him a strong candidate for the role. With lead roles in The Fault In Our Stars, the Divergent series, and Baby Driver, as well as a part in the 2021 adaptation of West Side Story, Elgort has the acting experience to bring Carson’s early years to life.

Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield’s versatility makes him an ideal candidate to play Johnny Carson at any stage of his life. In The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Garfield portrayed televangelist Jim Bakker from his college days to his fraud conviction, demonstrating his ability to embody a character throughout different life stages. Garfield’s extensive filmography, including roles in The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network, Hacksaw Ridge, Breathe, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Tick, Tick… Boom, showcases his talent for biopics and makes him a strong contender for the role of Johnny Carson.

Tobey Maguire

Tobey Maguire, best known for his role as Spider-Man in the early 2000s, is another actor who could bring Johnny Carson to life on screen. Maguire has demonstrated his ability to portray real-life figures, earning critical acclaim for his portrayal of chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer in Pawn Sacrifice. With roles in The Great Gatsby and Labor Day under his belt, Maguire has the acting chops to take on the challenge of playing the late-night legend.

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