Before Jimmy Fallon, before Conan O’Brien, and before Jay Leno, there was Johnny Carson. He’s one of the most iconic and memorable figures in television history. He was an interesting host and one fateful night, brought a relatively unknown man named David Tolley to national attention.

Performing ‘Memory’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical Cats, he gets a few laughs from his less than formal outfit (a Nike t-shirt and denim jeans), but receives immense applause for his wonderful rendition of the song. it just goes to show that it will always be the music at the core of what makes classical performances so stellar, and that life can take some wonderful if unexpected turns.