A Week With Johnny, Dave and Conan
If you are a fan of Late Night Talk Shows, this is a great week for you . . . and me. My TV obsession has always been Late Night Shows. I love the idea behind them, the study of them and I love watching how different hosts work on variations of the same format. The format that was famously perfected by the great Johnny Carson. On Monday May 14th, do yourself a favor and tune in, DVR or TiVo the American Masters Series on PBS at 9 PM. They are having a two hour documentary on Johnny Carson. Even though Johnny retired in 1992 and passed away in 2005, this is the first sanctioned look at the greatest TV star in American History. They recorded over 45 interviews with some of the greatest living comedians alive. To prepare, I watched my copy of the show David Letterman did the week after Johnny died. Dave did an hour tribute to his mentor. I had saved the show back in the day and pulled it out this morning to watch. His guest was Peter Lassally, the executive producer of The Tonight Show for twenty years. The stories they told were amazing and it made me so excited to watch the documentary tomorrow. He also had on Doc Severinsen and members of the Tonight Show Band. They played an instrumental piece called Here’s That Rainy Day. It was so beautiful. I can not believe that kind of music used to be played on television on a nightly basis. I am so looking forward to this documentary. I have always viewed comedy as a science and I study at the hands of the masters. Johnny was the King of Comedy, the King of Late night and a Prince of a guy.
The other big late night event this week is on May 17th. Conan O’Brien will be a guest of Dave for the first time in 13 years. More importantly, the first time since Conan joined the two man club of people who got The Tonight Show stolen from them by Leno. I can’t wait to hear these two comedy giants discuss their experiences in late night, NBC and their dealings with one of the most successful hacks: Jay Leno. I am assuming since both Conan and Dave are taking part in the Johnny documentary that they will discuss that as well. I am very excited that this week a legend is being recognized. I have a hope, futile as it may be, that this will inspire a new generation of comedians to balance hilarity with civility. As they said between each commercial bumper on the true Tonight Show…More To Come.
Read my Blog on Johnny Carson
Read my Review of all the current talk show hosts