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The Best of Johnny Carson and Friends (2008)

Johnny Carson , Bob Hope  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The Best of Johnny Carson and Friends + The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection - His Favorite Moments From The Tonight Show (Vols. 1-3) (1962-1992) + Johnny Carson: King of Late Night (American Masters)
Price for all three: $42.70

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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Mel Brooks, Ronald Reagan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 1387 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DW2BJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,339 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Remember when Bob Hope got chummy with the King of Late Night on The Tonight Show or when Dean Martin made you laugh so hard during The Colgate Comedy Hour that you almost busted your gut? Relive these and other memorable moments with this collection of rare episodes from late-night TV! 35 episodes on 4 DVDs. 1950-59/color-b&w/23 hrs., 7 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Before he became the king of late-nite TV, Johnny Carson hosted a self-named summer replacement series. Ten examples of that half-hour program are here, as well as samples of Johnny's quiz show, his morning program and the very early (1953) "Carson's Cellar."


"The Johnny Carson Show" aired Thursday nights at 8:30 on CBS from 6/30/55 to 3/1/56. The quiz show, "Who Do You Trust?" ran on ABC-TV from 1957 to '63; based on his performance here, Johnny was hired by NBC to replace Jack Paar on "The Tonight Show."

"Bobby Darin and Friends" was a pilot for a variety series the network rejected. It was written by Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear ("All in the Family").

"Shower of Stars" aired once a month on CBS-TV. The most frequent host was Jack Benny.

"The Milton Berle Show" was the Berle variety series that came after "The Texaco Star Theater."

"The Colgate Comedy Hour" had a long run (with rotating hosts) on NBC-TV in the 1950s.

For more vintage TV programming, try the 150 episodes on MILL CREEK's ESSENTIAL FAMILY TELEVISION.

CONTENTS of "Best of Johnny Carson and Friends":

Dillinger The Mental Wizard
Ed Sullivan Impersonation
Evolution of Dance
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Life in the 80's
James Arness
Jack Albertson
Dimitri Tomlin
Stay-at-Home Husband
Eva Gabor
Dorothy Shay
CARSON'S CELLAR (one episode)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Deal of Classic TV September 15, 2009
This boxed set has 23 hours of classic tv. Not a bad price for that much. I disagree with one of the posters. If you read the back of the set it tells you exactly what programs are included, so you know Johnny is not on all the shows. Mills Creek may not be putting out digitally perfect cds, but you can't beat the price. If you like old tv you will love this inexpensive set. I have the Ozzie and Harriet set by Mills Creek and it's a great bargain too.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Collection of Ultra Rare Variety Shows October 4, 2009
By Tee
I'm not a Johnny Carson fan in the slighest but I love this set!! This is an awesome collection of super rare variety shows from the 1950's and 1960's, a potpourri of pioneering tv stars in 35 episodes of various programs! You get 16 very early Carson shows with such guests as James Arness and Eva Gabor, seven episodes of The Milton Berle show with guests including Ronald Reagan, The Andrews Sisters, Carol Channing, and Frank Sinatra; The Frank Sinatra Timex special with Dean Martin and Bing Crosby; a Jack Benny program; Bobby Darin special; two episodes of Sid Caesar's Hour, The Martha Raye Show with Edward G. Robinson, Two Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis Colgate Comedy Hours, three episodes of Shower of Stars with Jayne Mansfield, Vivian Vance, Jack Benny, Tony Martin, Liberace, and a super rare 1952 special Stars in Their Eye featuring Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, and nearly all of the CBS stars of the era!! Many of these programs I would have gladly paid $10 each for - and here you can get all 35 in one package for around $10!! This may well be the best bargain on the market for lovers of vintage television seeking rare programs.

These are early television programs, often filmed on kinescopes rather than film so don't expect perfection in picture quality but it's generally very good indeed and certainly at that price you can't complain (although of course there will always be those who find something to complain about.) I would have preferred for it to have been sold more as an all-star set rather than concentrating on Carson but then he does dominate the collection in episodes and has a higher profile today than many of the late greats to be found here. I just love this set and often wonder if my deceased relatives saw these shows back when they first aired; certainly it's wonderful in recreating a wonderful era of show business long since vanished.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Distracting text flashing on and off the screen March 20, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This product is from Mill Creek Entertainment. They cannot stand for you to be allowed to watch classic TV without some kind of distracting text or other garbage flashing on the screen. People are turning to DVDs to avoid this intrusive annoyance now on commercial television. Most people want to see the full screen, as was intended when it was originally aired, without logos, inane text or other garbage flashing on the screen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is a four disc set I found in a Wal Mart bargain bin for $5. I was looking for some good stuff of Carson, and it sounded interesting. The first thing a buyer should know is there is nothing from The Tonight Show on here. It is all from his early days with CBS. In fact, there is nothing on here past 1962, and it's all in black and white. The first disc is jam packed with many full-length (even commercials) episodes of The Johnny Carson Show. To me, it is the best disc in the set.

The other three discs feature other CBS shows of the period, many of which Johnny guest starred on. Disc two includes two episodes of Johnny's short run on ABC as a game show host, which was pretty funny as well. A lot of the shows on discs 2-4 are great to watch, but some of them can get a little boring. The gems that stuck out for me were the Timex specials, the Colgate Comedy Hour (a.k.a. The Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis Show - probably the biggest laughs in the set other than Carson), and The Milton Berle Show on disc four has its moments. The rest I could take or leave.

Overall it's a good set if you want to really get to see comic legends during and before their heyday. It's a bargain set, and for four discs if you enjoy classic comedy legends, it's worth the small investment of your time and money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very nice compilation!
Published 11 days ago by Jaycey S Kelsven
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Johnny
These were fun to watch, I had never seen this show. I was looking for Tonight Show stuff so actually bought this in error, but it is pretty good and fun to watch.
Published 1 month ago by sjmajkosta
5.0 out of 5 stars good collection of the old johhny carson shows
I miss watching johnny carson on the tonight show in the 80's johnny ruled late night this is early collection
Published 1 month ago by thomas c dobeck
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Johnny Carson & Friends
If you like Johnny Carson, you will like this DVD. I will watch it many times. It is a good DVD to have in your library.
Published 1 month ago by donnie
3.0 out of 5 stars Very little JOHNNY
Nice mix of old black and white episodes for old time shows, but not enough of Johnny and the old Tonight Shows.
Published 4 months ago by kjb011
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's Johnny, one last time
This famous late night comedy host if unsurpassed in his day, nobody will ever measure up to Johnny Carson, ever
Published 5 months ago by cwest1
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST!
We just loved Johnny Carson's shows and wanted to see more of him again and remember how great he was!
Published 5 months ago by diane h. johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I thought this was just going to be episodes of Johnny Carson, but part of it is episodes of other TV shows. That was disappointing.
Published 6 months ago by Emily
4.0 out of 5 stars it did met my expectations.
I thought it would have some of his more recent programs, but they were in the beginning when he first started,
Published 7 months ago by STROD
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This had my step-dad laughing so hard he was crying. Excellent with all kinds of rare and bonus footage. Yes.
Published 8 months ago by John Byrd
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