Relive the memories from 30 years of The Tonight Show in this 3 DVD collection of the most hilarious moments with the biggest stars in television history. All of your old Tonight Show favorites are here - Johnny's monologue, wildlife handler Jim Fowler, the extraordinary talents of ordinary people, Carnac the Magnificent, sports heroes, and stand-up comics. See early performances from some of today's most popular comedians including Drew Carey, Garry Shandling, and the debut performance of Ellen DeGeneres.
Features the famous lost episode Return to Studio One. The stuff of showbiz legend, this famous "lost" episode of The Tonight Show (most of the tapes from the first 10 years of The Tonight Show were accidentally erased) defines the essence of live television. It is a kind of magic that can't be rehearsed, recycled, or reproduced, but thanks to this recent discovery, we can now return to Studio One to witness Johnny and his guests working witout a net. Originally recorded on two-inch videotape, the show was later transferred to film for broadcast on the Armed Forces Network. It was this film version that was eventually tracked down and identified among 10,000 Tonight Show tapes 54 stories underground in a working salt mine somewhere in the middle of Kansas. This show has not been seen since its original broadcast on March 6, 1969.
This classic episode is considered by many as one of the most hilarious in TV history. In March of 1969, Carson took the show on the road from its home in New York to Burbank, California. On this particular night, Johnny and his guests had no idea what was in store for them when Bob Hope and Dean Martin decided to drop in announced, and stole the show. The spontaneous and unrehearsed antics that followed are now a part of show business history.
Any fan of Johnny Carson will certainly have their own idea of what constitutes his best stuff. With over 30 years of material from the king of late-night TV to cull through, any collection is bound to be missing something. Whether or not your favorite moments are to be found in the almost four hours of Carson classics in this first volume of The Best of Carson is open to question, but either way theres plenty here to remind you of what made Johnny so popular. Each disc features highlights of guest visits, comic skits, and unexpected moments (most of the selections in this volume are from the 1980s). Disc one features highlights with guests like Steve Martin and "Super Dave" Osborne, as well as Carson characters like "Aunt Blabby" and "Carnac the Magnificent," along with other memorable moments. The most intriguing piece by far is the famous "Return to Studio One" episode from 1969, where Bob Hope and Dean Martin stole the show with their unannounced appearances (the episode was apparently lost for years and accidentally found in a vault at the Armed Forces Television Network). Disc two features appearances by animal handler Jim Fowler, the Peking Acrobats, and Garry Shandling in addition to "Tonight Show Memories," a 30-minute retrospective of the shows history. Disc three features Ellen DeGeneres, Rodney Dangerfield, Don Rickles, and more comic skits, including one that imagines what The Tonight Show would be like if NBC were to be bought by the Japanese. The bonus feature on disc three is a photo gallery featuring shots of early guests. What is missing here is one of the most important aspects of Carsons legacy: the launching of many future stars careers on his show. Theres no late-night debut here of Jay Leno, David Letterman, or Jerry Seinfeld for example. But despite that, theres still enough material here to give fans plenty of classic Carson entertainment.--Daniel Vancini