I've been far too busy (drunk) this week participating in the National College Radio Conference to be able to put together any kind of fancy, elaborate article, so for lack of something else here's just a bunch of cool old talk show footage from a bygone era. Click on the show title to find the clip.
The Joe Pyne Show (1965-67) - Joe Pyne was a legendary figure in the Los Angeles area in the nineteen sixties. He was a confrontational syndicated talk show host who hated hippies and communists and was known for having a wooden leg. You can follow the link to read about a legendary run-in Pyne had with Frank Zappa. Pyne pioneered the Fox News school of right wing sensationalism. The footage featured is from a best-of episode that aired in 1966. (The Joe Pyne clips are currently down).
The Joey Bishop Show (1967-69) - Rat Packer Joey Bishop tried his best to compete with his old buddy Johnny Carson. ABC thought that Bishop could possibly be the one to finally topple The Tonight Show in the ratings. They were wrong. He actually didn't do too bad, but Carson was a force that would never be restrained. In this episode from February 1968 the guest is Sammy Davis Jr. with a special cameo from Sammy Davis Sr. and of course, Bishop's sidekick, Regis Philbin.
The Mike Douglas Show (1961-82) - The late Mike Douglas always had strange combinations of people on his panel that made for great TV. I'm still trying to track down the episode that paired Ralph Nader with Moms Mabley. I'd also very much like to see the entire episode that had Milton Berle scolding Richard Pryor, "You better watch yourself, son." In this episode Johnny Cash and June Carter are joined by Don Rickles and a sex therapist who ruffles June's old fashioned feathers.
The Tomorrow Show (1973-82) - Tom Snyder was/is one of the most awkward and obtuse television hosts but his show was always interesting. Follow the link to see a couple episodes in their entirety. The first, from 1976, has a reunion of sorts for original Star Trek cast members and perennial douche bag (do I hear another lawsuit coming?) Harlan Ellison. The second episode reunites the surviving cast members of the original Superman television show. In the early eighties gossip columnist Rona Barrett became a co-host for some reason.
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (1962-92) - One thing that was great about talk shows in the seventies was their total sense of spontaneity. Who knows, maybe everything was scripted but talk shows, game shows, what have you, seemed a lot wilder then. Perhaps this had to do with the large amounts of cocaine or hard liquor that was being consumed, or maybe it is just an illusion I am clinging to that everything that is old is better. Regardless, here's some zaniness from a September 1974 episode of The Tonight Show featuring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise.
Tonight! (1953-57) - Steve Allen had several different television shows during his long career, most were a variation on the original Tonight Show titled Tonight! Here's a rare episode almost in its entirety. Almost every episode of Tonight! was destroyed by NBC in the late sixties in order to create more storage space.
The Jack Paar Tonight Show (1958-62) - This rare series of clips actually features a combination of footage from The Jack Paar Tonight Show and the original Steve Allen incarnation of Tonight! Polaroid was obivously the sponsor for a while and its fun to see how the respective hosts treated these sponsor breaks without bringing the show to a total halt. From the collection of television historian Ira Gallen at TVdays.com