There was a time when late night television was more than just celebrities coming on to plug their latest movie, song, television show or book. It had a rawer feeling, and there were times that people would even smoke or drink on the set. The man who presided over that was Johnny Carson, who had quite the legendary career. He left some bg shoes to fill and some may argue that they never were fully filled. Watch this clip and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
We see a “Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” that was taped on March 6, 1969. Yes, this thing is older than me by a little over three years. It’s so cool to see a younger Carson, Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen – though Carson does poke fun at the band leader for his choice of wardrobe. Heck, by the end of the show, every guest is making fun of each other, including one part where people were bewildered by Carol Wayne’s voice.
I truly couldn’t determine who was the funniest of the group. This was comedic banter at its best… and it even had Carson wondering aloud to the audience when exactly he lost control of the show. Personally, I think it was the very second that Martin strode through the curtain. After that, it was like a roller coaster and all Carson could do was try to buckle himself up and hang on for dear life.
It’s hard to think of a more legendary comedic group sitting in one place than Hope, Martin, Carson, and Gobel. Add McMahon and Severinsen, and it was one magical night. The thing was… Carson was able to do stuff like that regularly. Try having people smoke and drink on the stage now and watch how fast the censors come roaring in. They might even break down the doors of the studio as it’s taping.
People lamented that late night talk shows weren’t the same now as they were then. I agree. Do you? Let us know your favorite moments from the past. Also, please “Like” us on Facebook.
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