The full Carson collection, which reaches back to October 1962, has been restored, digitized, annotated and transcribed for viewers on the website johnnycarson.com, which will also feature DVD sets available for purchase.
"It will also become more of an entertainment site," Jeff Sotzing, president of Carson Entertainment Group, told the AP. "There will be 40 to 50 clips, which we will change on a regular basis."
Carson, whom Jay Leno succeeded as host of The Tonight Show, was on the air from 1962 to 1992. He died of respiratory arrest in 2005.
A media-only site will be started this week that will provide access to a total of 3,300 hours of searchable content.
The search feature can even detect every clip that features announcer Ed McMahon's "Hi-Yo."
While the full site will not be available to the public for some time, Sotzing (who's a nephew of Carson's and a producer on his show) said he doesn't want to keep the fans waiting too long.
"In the near future, we'll offer them the ability to search and select from the full library of shows," he said.
The New York Times reported that little was kept from Carson's first 10 years — having been destroyed in an era when no one contemplated the possibility of home video. But the existing tapes, along with a complete library of shows from 1973 on, were kept in storage in a salt mine in Kansas.