Web Extra: NPR's Scott Simon Interviews Paar in 1997
Jack Paar, who pioneered late-night talk TV on The Tonight Show, dies at 85. Paar hosted the show from 1957 to 1965, turning Steve Allen's comedy variety show into a more conversational format.
Paar quit at the peak of his career, having paved the way for Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, David Letterman and other late-night hosts.
Death came Tuesday in Greenwich, Conn., after a long illness.