History of Late Night - CNN

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Hcour, May 4, 2021.

  1. May 4, 2021 #1 of 36
    Hcour

    Hcour Well-Known Member

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    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
  2. May 4, 2021 #2 of 36
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    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. May 4, 2021 #3 of 36
    lambertman

    lambertman With an "L"

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    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. May 4, 2021 #4 of 36
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    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. May 4, 2021 #5 of 36
    trainman

    trainman Nice to see you

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    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. May 4, 2021 #6 of 36
    mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    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. May 5, 2021 #7 of 36
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    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.
     
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  8. May 5, 2021 #8 of 36
    Regina

    Regina I've got Jewbs!

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    ..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. May 5, 2021 #9 of 36
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    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.
     
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  10. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    Watched E2 this weekend, all about Johnny. What was most interesting to me was them showing all the attempts to give him a rival, from Joey Bishop, to Dick Cavett, to the show Soul on PBS (which I had never heard of), to Merv Griffin. All pretty much failed, but some were moderately successful, mostly Cavett and Griffin (who if I recall did a daytime version of his show at some point as well). Later on Arsenio Hall took him on as well.
     
  11. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    I've been really enjoying this...which is a little odd, because I've never been much of a late-night guy.

    Griffin was the king of daytime talk for decades! I remember when he had Harlan Ellison on...Richard Harris was another guest, and had a marvelous put-down when Ellison tried to get provocative and superior.
     
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  12. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    I remember my mom watching Griffin and Mike Douglass during the day when I was a kid.

    I'm only an occasional late-night talk show guy, usually if they have a guest I want to see. I do watch TDS, but that's a different format to the traditional style. But I do know of all of the hosts over the years. I DO remember the joke from the 1970s that Johnny Carson caused a baby boom because sex was had frequently while his show was on :) Obviously today you can record any of these shows if you are interested which is what I might do rather than stay up to watch.
     
  13. trainman

    trainman Nice to see you

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    In the 1970s, when his show was syndicated by the Metromedia company, the independent TV stations they owned (in New York, L.A., Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis) actually ran it in prime-time.
     
  14. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    That Harlan Ellison interview was in the 70s (I think he was promoting Shatterday, which would make it around 1975), and that was daytime in Minneapolis...so I suspect the prime time slot didn't last too long here.

    (And now that insipid "Met..ro...media...11...11...11" theme song is stuck in my head! :D)
     
  15. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    We were Metromedia 5 (WNEW). I was actually at their NY Studio as my sister was on one of their Sunday morning kids shows (Wonderama).
     
  16. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I, too, have been enjoying this series so far. I've watched much of their decades series and such, and have liked all of them.
     
  17. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Although it gets more and more annoying how much of their "history" programming covers not only my lifetime, but my adulthood.

    I mean, really, the 90s is history? :D
     
  18. Regina

    Regina I've got Jewbs!

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    I also do not recall the Soul show-it sounds amazing! Maybe PBS will bring it back as a throwback for a new generation-I bet it holds up!
     
  19. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    FYI:

    Soul! | PBS

    I think there's a couple of episodes there for you to check out (probably on the PBS app as well, but this came up on their website).
     
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  20. lambertman

    lambertman With an "L"

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    Also on Shout!Factory TV and the Roku Channel.
     
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