Date: 3rd November 2000
Steve Allen, who died Monday night at age 78 of an apparent heart attack, was being eulogized on TV and in print throughout the day Tuesday.
In Daily Variety, columnist Army Archerd remarked that his death "delivered a major blow to show business." Appearing on Larry King's CNN show, Carl Reiner called Allen "the master. He was the guy who set it all up." (Allen was the original host of NBC's Tonight show.)
On the same show, Ed McMahon also credited Allen with inventing the concept of the late-night talk/variety show. And David Letterman said in a statement that Allen's work "is really the foundation for what late-night shows have become." Alluding to a song that the versatile Allen wrote, Tom Shales in the Washington Post commented, "This could be the stop of something big."
Allen's death was announced on the very day that a full-page ad that the comedian-composer-actor-writer purchased appeared in more than 1,000 newspapers. It was headed, "TV Is Leading Children Down a Moral Sewer." Allen also was reportedly completing work on a similarly themed book, titled Vulgarians at the Gate.
Source: Studio Briefing