Magic on the Tonight Show w/ Johnny Carson

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Postby David Thomas » 09/24/08 11:31 PM

Hi
I was wondering if anyone has ever thought of doing, or has done, a dvd with all the performances of magic on the Tonight show, I love watching them and it would be fantastic to have all of them on a dvd.

Just a thought........ :)
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 09/24/08 11:39 PM

That would have to come from Carson Products, the great late Johnny Carson's company.
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Postby MaxNY » 09/25/08 12:08 AM

The Carson group sucks. They have put out, maybe 10 DVD's so far...Real dis-appointment.
I used to restore videotape, it gets very expensive.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/25/08 03:29 AM

The Carson Group does not suck. They are a business that will release new products as demand dictates. So far they have released 12 DVDs. Its highly doubtful that a few thousand magic fans warrant the expense of creating a DVD for that niche market.

The original footage is stored in a salt mine and will probably last longer than you and I. And as new technologies come on line, the cost to digitally transfer and store it will decrease. I suspect that, one day, any show in the entire archive (of those they have, since they do not have all of them thanks to some idiots at NBC) will be available as an instant download. Is it a drag that I wont live to see that? Yeah, but thems the breaks. With any luck, young David here will see that day.

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Postby David Thomas » 09/25/08 10:31 AM

Dean Dill has told me that Johnny Carson hates magic. Is this true?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/25/08 11:03 AM

David, Johhny Carson is dead, so he doesn't hate anything. Perhaps Dean said that Jay Leno, who has hosted the show for many years, hates magic. There certainly have not been a lot of magicians on The Tonight Show since he took over.

Perhaps that will change when Conan O'Brien takes over next year.
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Postby Jim Maloney » 09/25/08 11:16 AM

Has Conan had many magicians on "Late Night"?

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/25/08 12:21 PM

Dean must have been talking about Leno, who does indeed dislike magic. Johnny loved magic and kept up on it. In fact, it was either Dean or Brian Gillis who would occasionally see Johnny after his retirement and talk magic.

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Postby Gord » 09/25/08 01:27 PM

I find it interesting that David had to call it "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson."
I know it's been a long time, but whenever I hear "The Tonight Show" I think of Carson. I've never gotten comfortable with Leno.
Weird.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/25/08 02:54 PM

I hate Leno. I hate Letterman. I miss Carson.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 09/25/08 03:19 PM

Funny....I must be older than you guys. When I hear "Tonight Show" I think of Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Carson. Each were great in their own way, but Carson wins. I like Leno and will continue to watch him wherever he goes....

Adrian

(Betcha NBC is trying to figure a way out of THAT deal!!!)
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/25/08 04:00 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:I miss Carson.


Not a day goes by that I dont miss Johnny Carson. He is still the Gold Standard when it comes to talk show hosts and emcees. (Has anyone hosted the Oscars better than Johnny?) Whenever I am depressed, I go to his site, go to the Entertainment page; click on Carnac and watch the clip titled Sis Boom Bah. Its better than meds.

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Postby Doug Thornton » 09/25/08 04:58 PM

Johnny Carson was the absolute greatest. I miss him, too.

He was the king when Hollywood still had class and he had an amazing instinct on handling guests of all walks of life.

I'll watch Leno from time to time but I still have a resentment that he didn't thank Johnny on the first show when he took over
(at the advice of his manager). David Letterman and Johnny Carson were friends - Johnny even faxed jokes to David for his monoloques after Johnny retired. I like Letterman but I still criticize him for doing a bit over and over ad nauseum; he's at his most brilliant when he rants about things unscripted - like last night, questioning John McCain's cancelling his appearance
on the show.

I was lucky to see Johnny Carson twice before he retired. He told one of the funniest jokes ever during a commercial break - maybe Michael Close can put in the next printing of "That Reminds Me". And on a side note, he didn't have standard cue cards for his monoloque - the jokes were on a sort of wall which he looked at (from left to right) - watch an old tape and you'll notice it.

And yes, he loved magic. And yes, Dean Dill and Paul Gertner were privileged to visit him at his home.
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Postby AJM » 09/25/08 06:05 PM

As a frequent visitor to the US, I watch these shows when I get the opportunity and find them entertaining enough - however I've always been curious about the hold they have over the viewing public.
It's clear from this thread, and from others that have gone before, that discussions on these shows always elicit strong views from members on which is the best show, who is the best presenter - with Carson being the benchmark by which the rest are measured.
I ask because we don't have anything similar in the UK - we went through a period of talk shows a number of years back which followed a similar format, however they fell out of favour after a while.
So what is that secret ingredient they all have that inspires so much loyalty with the viewers?

Cheers

Andrew
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Postby David Thomas » 09/25/08 06:35 PM

Sorry, I meant Jay Leno. Dean told me it was Leno who hated magic, I just got the two mixed up.

I saw a clip on youtube of Letterman with David Roth on the show. Letterman interrupted so many times I had trouble remembering there was an effect going on.

What did Mike Skinner show on the tonight show?
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Postby Gord » 09/25/08 09:55 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:I miss Carson.


Not a day goes by that I dont miss Johnny Carson. He is still the Gold Standard when it comes to talk show hosts and emcees. (Has anyone hosted the Oscars better than Johnny?) Whenever I am depressed, I go to his site, go to the Entertainment page; click on Carnac and watch the clip titled Sis Boom Bah. Its better than meds.

Dustin


I remember watching "Sis Boom Bah" live with my older brother. We couldn't stop laughing. For days after whenever I thought of it I broke into giggles.

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Postby David Alexander » 09/26/08 12:12 AM

Carson wore well. He was non-threatening and came across as a regular guy who occasionally had a humorous slant on the world. He could be in people's homes 90 minutes a night, five nights a week and still do sell out business in Vegas. People paid to see someone they could see for free five nights a week. That's a rarity in the business.

Later, when he cut down to a hour a night and then fewer nights per week, he was still popular. Part of his power was revealed when it was announced that he'd gone sky diving, much to the concern of NBC executives, as he produced a significant portion of NBC's profit each year.

The other networks threw everything they could at him, hosts came and went, millions were spent on developing talent and no one touched him.

And he started out as a magician and never lost his love for the art.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 09/27/08 09:13 PM

Your post on Carson was right on the money, David. Carson made a tremendous contribution to magic by inviting magicians to perform on a regular basis.

I had always wondered why Leno hasn't had a magician on his show for a long time, and this thread answered this for me.

Dave, grab a copy of the November 2000 issue of Genii. This is the Michael Skinner tribute issue, and Jon Racherbaumer writes about Skinner's appearances on the Tonight Show. I know that Skinner appeared twice, and that he performed the Cups and Balls, and Card in Wallet, among other effects. According to Skinner and Roger Klause on Skinner's Professional Close-Up Magic DVDs, that was the first time Card in Wallet had been seen on national television.
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Postby David Thomas » 09/27/08 10:27 PM

Hey thanks, would love to read more about him.
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Postby Doug Thornton » 09/28/08 11:22 AM

"I had always wondered why Leno hasn't had a magician on his show for a long time, and this thread answered this for me."

At the IBM / SAM convention, both Michael Finney and Mac King said that when they were starting out in comedy clubs, Jay Leno told them to drop the magic - just do the comedy.

Thank goodness they didn't follow that advice.
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Postby Jim Maloney » 09/30/08 10:49 AM

For all you fans, NPH did a great Carnac impersonation last night on How I Met Your Mother:

Marshall: It was the tiniest little burger joint tucked between a taxidermist and a triple-X bookstore.

Barney (Holding his napkin up to his head): Name two places where things get stuffed.


As the scene continued, you could see Barney in the background tearing off the edge of the napkin and blowing into it to open it up, just as Carson always did with the envelope.

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Postby David Thomas » 10/01/08 10:10 PM

No one answered Jim's question and I am curious also, have any magicians been on conan obrien's show?
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Postby J Bright » 10/02/08 03:37 PM

Ricky Jay
David Copperfield
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Postby David Vamer » 10/20/08 06:28 AM

One of my favorite recent moments on TV came when Ricky Jay and Jackie Chan got into an impomptu scaled cards/martial arts defense battle on Conan.

As for the Tonight Show, Johnny was it. Period. However, a shout-out is due Ernie Kovacs. Not only for Matzo Hepplewhite, but also for being the first host of the show that became The Tonight Show.

DV
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Postby Steve Bryant » 10/20/08 09:00 AM

Note that Ernie Kovacs also appeared on editions 2 and 3 of Milt Larsen's It's Magic!
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 10/20/08 10:19 AM

David Vamer wrote:As for the Tonight Show, Johnny was it. Period. However, a shout-out is due Ernie Kovacs. Not only for Matzo Hepplewhite, but also for being the first host of the show that became The Tonight Show. DV


Ernie Kovacs appeared numerous times on the Tonight Show and even "guest hosted" it, but I believe that Steve Allen or maybe Jerry Lester would be considered the first host.

I wish I still had my EEFMS card.

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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/20/08 10:24 AM

See a brief Tonight Show history on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tonight_Show
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 10/20/08 05:14 PM

Thanks for that reference....I now know the last Tonight show I will watch is May 29th 2009.

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Postby David Vamer » 10/21/08 03:25 AM

Early Eyeball Fraternal and Marching Society!

I stand corrected. Ernie was the Monday/Tuesday night host during the '56-'57 broadcasts.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 10/21/08 01:09 PM

Last year I bought a 4 video tape set of The Best of Ernie Kovacs. It's awesome to watch and see how far ahead of the rest of the TV world he really was.

Some ---or many--- of his bits border on genius, especially the Eugene bit with the thermos bottle.

Another who left us too early.

Adrian

(Now....the EEFMS salute: standing, right forefinger over the closed right eye)

Those WERE the days....
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