Join 3,559 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Heeeeeere's a searchable online database!
August 11, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Carson Entertainment Group, which owns the archive of the late-night host's 30 years on "The Tonight Show," is set to announce Wednesday that it has digitized all 3,300 hours of existing footage from the program and created a searchable online database for producers and researchers. (way previously)

Also: zombie philanthropist.
posted by Joe Beese (24 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Today is a good day.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:31 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The search tool for existing footage will be available for professional use, but many clips will also be posted for public viewing.

Aw, that's kind of disappointing. Especially if it ends up being US only.
posted by ODiV at 2:36 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy cow, what a treasure trove that will be.
posted by blucevalo at 2:37 PM on August 11, 2010


.




That dot is because Metafilter wasn't around when Johnny left us, and I miss him.




!

That exclamation point is because YAY FOR DIGITIZED FOOTAGE!!!
posted by mudpuppie at 2:44 PM on August 11, 2010


How much you wanna bet the most popular search terms will be "ed ames" and "tomahawk"?
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


mudpuppie -- Carson died in 2005. Here's the MeFi obit thread
posted by briank at 2:46 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Producers and researchers? I'd think you could make a mint selling subscriptions to online watching.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:48 PM on August 11, 2010


I look forward to watching many of the shows from the early seventies at regular volume, since I usually had to watch them covertly in my bedroom at a volume undetectable by my Mom in the next room. I love the big famous clips that always get shown over and over again, but many of my favorite Carson moments are the way he interacted with guests that weren't really celebrities. I really look forward to being able to see shows start to finish, where you really get a sense of his incredible timing and style.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:49 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think "producers and researchers" is just a toe in the water. The important thing is that it's all digitized, and apparently very well indexed. I mean, searchable transcripts of each show, wow! I could lose an afternoon or two just browsing the transcripts.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:55 PM on August 11, 2010



When I read stuff like this, it makes it a lot easier to get over not having flying cars and jet packs. I love living in the future.

The first summer I lived in Chicago, I was working here just for the summer between my first and second year of college. I was temping for nothing because even that and living on a friend's couch was better than heading home with my parents. But I had NO money. One of my favorite things to do on weekends when I was super broke was head down to the Museum of Broadcast Communications to their "research" room and just search their database for old TV shows for research projects that never came to anything. I'd do a database search, they'd pull up the tape, and I'd sit in the air conditioning (this was THE summer of 95.) watching something I'd only read about in books.

The fact that this may slowly happen for all kinds of television shows or other thought-to-be-ephemeral media from my youth -- or more importantly in some cases, before my youth -- is really just too much fun to think about.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:03 PM on August 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


One thing that would make this awesome is if it proved that this actually happened.*

*I swear I saw it on a Carson tribute near his last days on the Tonight Show.
posted by drezdn at 3:15 PM on August 11, 2010


mudpuppie -- Carson died in 2005

Jeez, was it that recent? Seems like so long ago. What I meant was, I wasn't online that day.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:18 PM on August 11, 2010


I thought Ed was passing a kidney stone when Johnny announced "A hatful of Ralph".
posted by buzzv at 3:28 PM on August 11, 2010


Carson Entertainment Group, which owns the archive of the late-night host's 30 years on "The Tonight Show," is set to announce Wednesday that it has digitized all 3,300 hours of existing footage from the program and created a searchable online database for producers and researchers.

Meanwhile, the not quite 100 hours of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien will be available on USB drives in specially marked boxes of Lucky Charms.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:32 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is such wonderful news! Thanks for posting!
posted by CitizenD at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2010


Heyooooo!
posted by gimonca at 4:52 PM on August 11, 2010


"That's in part because Carson's "Tonight Show" logged more than 22,000 guests during his tenure."

That is an astounding number.

Excellent news. I look forward to ALL of it being online, which I think eventually MUST happen. What a feather in the cap of the online service who can get it all into their system. I hope Netflix lobbies to license it all.
posted by artlung at 6:37 PM on August 11, 2010


How do I get a fake researcher ID? Not just for this, but also for the secret researcher sex parties.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:29 PM on August 11, 2010


secret researcher sex parties.

As a secrets research, I can assure you: the parties aren't that great.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:40 PM on August 11, 2010


the parties aren't that great.

Too many people sitting around with clipboards taking notes?
posted by hippybear at 7:56 PM on August 11, 2010


Jeez, was it that recent? Seems like so long ago. What I meant was, I wasn't online that day.

mudpuppie, here's a screenshot of an email chain you and I had that day.

You're running out of excuses, Johnny Hater.
posted by yerfatma at 5:22 AM on August 12, 2010


iANY Johnny is great! However, if the clips will be searchable (so far, nothing is) only by "professionals" -- ostensibly those planning to license them for some purpose -- that leaves the rest of us out totally. That seems to defeat all the PR I've read so far, as far as a searchable database for clips.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:24 PM on August 12, 2010


The clip I would like to see - assuming it's true - is of Bette Davis. Supposedly she came on the show, and Carson asked her something about her feud with Joan Crawford. To which she is said to have replied: "Momma always said to say good things about the dead. Joan's dead. Good."

I'm not entirely sure if this is a true story, of if it's a joke from some drag queen Bette Davis impersonator that people have taken as true.
posted by dnash at 1:11 PM on August 12, 2010


I've never seen an episode of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and I've always wanted to. So, yay!
posted by griphus at 8:01 PM on August 12, 2010


« Older [Cooking Filter] Serious Eats' Kenji Lopez-Alt exp...  |  (Sewing Filter) Judith Neukam ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments