History of Late Night - CNN

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Hcour, May 4, 2021 at 8:55 AM.

  1. Hcour

    Hcour Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2007


    I enjoyed the first ep a lot. I thought it was interesting that all those routines that Carson and Letterman and others were/are famous for were actually all variations on stuff Steve Allen did years before.

    I've always thought Parr's famous "walk off" was childish and unprofessional but, yeah, the audience loved it and his opening line on his return is a classic.

    Had not seen the Ed Ames hatchet bit since Carson's final days. A great tv moment that Carson handled brilliantly.

    Oops: Series is actually called "The Story of Late Night". Maybe a mod could correct it?
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 9:18 AM
  2. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I enjoyed it too. My dad was a big Steve Allen fan so I knew about some of the things he did on his iteration of The Tonight Show. I didn't know a lot about Jack Paar so that part was interesting for me, and didn't know about his walkoff the show. I had a feeling that they were going to gloss over the early days and even to some extent Johnny Carson, but then I realize that it's SO many years ago since they have been on the air and it was only about half the history by now.

    The hatched bit I've seen MANY times (and was too young to watch when it originally aired) and it never fails to crack me up. And Johnny's timing was great, as it always was (and that was part of his brilliance). Looking forward to the rest of the series.
  3. lambertman

    lambertman With an "L"

    Dec 20, 2002
    I was confused by the narrator seeming to imply that Jerry Lester and “Broadway Open House” were being considered to replace “Tonight - America After Dark”, when in reality it aired several years prior on NBC, prior to the advent of “Tonight Starring Steve Allen”. I’ve never read anything that implies they were looking to go back to that well.

    Most enjoyable first ep, regardless.
  4. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

    Apr 16, 2003
    Haven't watched this yet (plan to) but there's a companion podcast called "Behind the Desk: The Story of Late Night" and I've listened to the three episodes released so far and really enjoyed them. I'll be interested to see how much of the material is duplicated between the podcast and the TV show.
  5. trainman

    trainman Nice to see you

    Jan 29, 2001


    You can tell this has been in production for a while -- if not entirely in the can waiting to air -- given that one of the interviewees is Rick Ludwin, who died in November 2019 (there was an "in memoriam" card for him at the end of the first episode).
  6. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Didn't really learn a lot since I'd heard MOST of the stories before at least to some degree.. still entertaining.
    I didn't know about "Tonight! America After Dark"... and didn't know about the guest hosts between Paar and Carson.

    I knew all about the Letterman basically doing Steve Allen kind of bits.. though I also didn't realize that Steve Allen's *wasn't* like the later Tonight Shows..
  7. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    Oct 17, 2000
    And not just his timing...part of his brilliance (and this is an example) was knowing when to simply not do anything, and let the joke tell itself. I'm not sure I've ever seen anybody do that as well as Johnny.
    Regina and Steveknj like this.
  8. Regina

    Regina I've got Jewbs!

    Mar 29, 2003
    ..he also was the master of the "bomb"- he would milk a terrible joke, let the audience sit with it, look at them, make them uncomfortable, laugh despite themselves-he could get more laughs from a bad joke than most comedians could from a good one, IMHO!
  9. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    Yep, he could turn around a bad joke by simply acknowledging it was a bad joke! Not many can do this. Bill Maher is the best of today's crop at doing it. Jon Stewart used to be good at it as well. They all learned this from Johnny.
    Regina likes this.

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