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 1970's, 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.
A Special telecast tonight for the motion picture premiere on Broadway at the Rivoli theater of "CLEOPATRA" with Bert Parks live at the theater interviewing celebrities in the lobby as they enter the theater with cut-aways to Johnny Carson in Studio 6B, who interacts with those being interviewed.
NOTE: There is much humor happening during this remote pick-up as celebrities get out of their cars at the curb and they are stopped for photographs by some 500 photographers at the premiere. Local TV Station WPIX Channel 11 in New York City has first opportunities to interview celebrities on the outside, delaying Bert to do his interviews in the lobby. At times Bert frantically calls out to them and there is much humor exchanged between Parks and Johnny Carson who watches, and comments.
After the remote interviews Roddy McDowall joins Johnny in the NBC Tonight Show studio and discuses photographs he took on the set of CLOEPATRA, including those of Elizabeth Taylor getting made up for her role.
NOTE: At one point Johnny Carson, breaking up with laughter says: "I want a copy of this show."
Ironically, this broadcast was wiped (erased) and is one of the thousands of "lost" TONIGHT SHOW broadcasts never saved/archived during the first ten years of broadcasting.
One of the rare TV Audio Air Checks archived by ARCHIVAL TELEVISION AUDIO, INC. originally recorded off the air when broadcast, June 12, 1963.
Duplicate of #14160