1968 Flashback: Judy Garland Charms in Her First ‘Carson’ Appearance

‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ welcomed Judy Garland in 1968. Johnny introduces her by saying, “No one I think receives more intense reaction from an audience, and brings emotions to such a high pitch as Judy Garland when she performs. She is one-of-a-kind.”

Judy appears in a white shimmering pants suit with a red scarf. While the audience screams and claps, Judy and Johnny keep sitting and standing, playing along. This continues for over a minute!

Johnny says, “I didn’t get that kind of reaction when I was born.” He thanks her for coming to her first-ever appearance. Johnny asks her about his suit, and she says it’s “Underplayed.”

Johnny asks her about the upcoming show, and Judy says, “With about 10,000 people in the audience, it’s hard to give an intimate show.” Johnny asked what standout thing she enjoyed, and Judy said she loved playing at the Palladium in London.

Judy tries to tell Johnny how she adores her audience, and they adore her back. Johnny and Judy enjoy a cigarette during the interview too. Judy tells Johnny it is rude to not give your all during a performance.

Judy talks about the stage, saying, “I don’t want to be there all the time because I want to be with my children.” Johnny asks Judy if there’s anything she ever wanted to do, and she responds, “Retire.”

The audience laughs, and Judy elaborates, telling Johnny that she’d want to be lavishly rich so she could sing whenever she wanted. Johnny asks Judy who her favorite female co-star was, and Judy says, “I liked all of them I worked with. I didn’t have any fights with them at all.”

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1968 Flashback: Judy Garland Charms in Her First ‘Carson’ Appearance