Travel back in TV time to 1985 when Weird Al Yankovic appeared as a musical guest for the first and, tragically, only time on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. [more inside]
"Gentlemen: I have a story that may be of interest to you. It is not widely known who invented the circuitry concept for the automatic sequential performance of musical pitches - now well known as a sequencer. I, however, do know who the inventor was - for it was I who first conceived and built the sequencer." This is the opening to an undated, unaddressed letter, found in Raymond Scott's personal papers (yes, the same fellow whose kooky soundtracks scored everything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to Ren & Stimpy, The Simpson, and Animaniacs). You can read the rest of Scott's letter, along with Bob Moog's recollections of visiting Raymond's electronics laboratory in the mid-1950s. Or you could jump ahead to the mid-1960s, when Jim Henson was in his late 20s to early 30s, and he was working on a variety of odd projects after a successful run with Sam and Friends, but before he it it big with Sesame Street. It was at this point that he teamed up with Scott on a few short, experimental films. [more inside]
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., in a concert from June 20, 1965 at the Kiel Opera House in St. Louis. A young Johnny Carson hosts, filling in for an ill Joey Bishop. SLYT.
Back in April 1986, Tonight Show host Johnny Carson stole a truck. The owner eventually got it back, but the incident resulted in a messy televised trial that gripped the nation. Then in February 2004, the victim recounted the story to Conan O'Brien. [more inside]
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) [more inside]
Nostalgia and skepticism collide in this short video of Uri Geller's legendary failure on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, introduced by frequent MeFi subject James Randi. More context and nostalgia in this longer version, which features Geller with a young Barbara Walters, and on The Mike Douglas Show, along with Randi's expose of "healing evangelist" Peter Popoff. If you want to waste even more time, just start clicking on these YouTube search results.
The Johnny Carson website, where many episodes are for sale on VHS. Bad news: It will cost me about $3,000 to collect all the Albert Brooks appearances. This week they're playing a (quicktime) monologue from 1977. Anybody else got the warm fuzzies for Johnny?