In part 1 of a 2-part interview, Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group and owner of 70 different programs including Funny You Should Ask and The Weather Channel, talks about his background and what he learned from his mom during a tumultuous time in America when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated and her drive in getting a higher level education and how she opened the door at NBC for not only herself but also for Byron in the ultimate ‘content factory’. Byron then shares how he met the iconic entertainer, Johnny Carson, and the funny story of how at just 14 years old he broke into comedy starting with advice from Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back Kotter), mentioning other well-known stars along the way.
In the second half, Byron shares his story about Jimmy J.J. Walker and being “funny” and his writing session with him, and other unknowns at the time like Jay Leno, David Letterman, and many others. Mr. Allen ends by sharing the importance of connecting with the audience and why he turned down being on the Tonight Show at 17 and how that eventually worked out.