Ken Tucker
February 06, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

EW remembers Jack Paar

Jack Paar, who died at age 85 on Jan. 27 in Greenwich, Conn., was less a comedian than a mood-ian: grumpy, sentimental, or cheerful on any given night. Following Steve Allen and preceding Johnny Carson as host of ”The Tonight Show” (1957 — 62), Paar showcased everything from Richard Nixon on piano to the ”Muppets.” His most famous moment occurred in 1960, when he walked off his show in tears after NBC censored a mild bathroom joke he’d taped the night before. Paar was delightfully impulsive, informal, polite yet pointed: unpaaralleled.

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