October 1, 1962-May 22, 1992. Johnny Carson, host of NBC's network late-night "Tonight Show" reigned for 30 unprecedented years...five times the combined tenure of Steve Allen, and Jack Paar. Carson was impervious to competition, including efforts to dethrone him by Les Crane, Joey Bishop, Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett, Jack Paar, Pat Sajak, Joan Rivers, and Arsenio Hall. Sadly, very few complete "Tonight Show" broadcasts survive during Johnny Carson's first ten years of broadcasting. Around 1965, through the early 1970s, the oldest tapes were first erased systematically by orders from myopic NBC executives, to be recycled for purposes of saving money. Ironically, in many cases, these older master tapes were too brittle and portended probable drop-outs for re-use after being erased. Subsequently blank after being erased, these older questionable master 2" Quad tapes were either sparingly used or never used again for recording new programming and eventually were discarded. Saving thousands of dollars at the time (wiping master tapes for potential re-use) resulted in losing millions of dollars by NBC in today's marketplace, and more importantly wiping thousands of historic TONIGHT SHOW broadcasts, which contain precious personal anecdotes from political, show business, and sports icons of the past
Johnny Carson celebrates his 6th anniversary as host of the Tonight Show. This is the first-anniversary show to show clips from past shows.
Highlights include: The James Drury-Doug McClure bar fight
Don Rickles: "The Japanese Bath."
Commercials: "The Way We Have Wanted To See Just One."-Sammy Davis Jr. Tiny Tim
The opening of "Cleopatra" with Bert Parks
Joan Rivers live-mentions first appearance on February 17th, 1965
Derek Commercial-Take off
New York City Mayor John Lindsay appears live-he praises, Carson, as a civil leader
Jack Webb-Carson skit: "Clean Copper Clappers."
Johnny narrates a football game 1963/64.
Hot Air Ballooning-Jumping out of a plane
Ed Ames Tomahawk throw
Shirley Temple parody-
Carson sings as Shirley Temple. "The Good Ship Lollipop."
Norman Rockwell-Painting of Johnny Carson.
Also appearing is Bill Cosby.
More information on previous clips:
Carson in a barroom fight with Doug McClure and James Drury of the "Virginian."
Johnny is enjoying a Japanese massage but is getting heckled by Don Rickles. Carson then throws Rickles into the tub, clothes and all
Johnny appears as a soap salesman with Sammy Davis Jr. appearing in KKK sheets
Carson as a mad scientist who turns into Tiny Tim
The opening of "Cleopatra" in which Bert Parks ran into many difficulties trying to interview guests to the opening night, Roddy McDowell, Joan Fontaine, Charles Addams, Mr. and Mrs, Richard Rodgers, Darryl Zanuck, etc.
Johnny appears as Ralph Willie, a West Coast Teatime movie salesman, Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin assisting
Carson as "Derek" a take-off on the Eric Cigar commercial
Carson appears in a skit with Jack Webb about stolen clappers that were taken from a school bell. "Clean Copper Clappers."
Carson plays football with members of the New York Jets football team and ballooning with Don Piccard
Carson's recent skydiving stint in California
The famous and hilarious 1965 tomahawk throw by Ed Ames. Tomahawk lands in a private area of outlined wall figure.
Johnny dresses as Shirley Temple and sings "On The Good Ship USA." revealing underwear instead of the patriotic petticoat.
Interspersed among film and tape clips guests chatted with Carson. A surprise appearance by New York City Mayor John Lindsay joking with Johnny about strikes and safe streets, etc.
Joan Rivers emerges from a large birthday cake and guest Norman Rockwell presents Johnny with a portrait of himself
Closing credits over montage of Carson in various costumes..