Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review of "Timeless Moments From the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson," Discs 1 & 2, DVD


Review of

Timeless Moments From the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, Discs 1 & 2, DVD

Five out of five stars

The master of situational improv

 Although the show was scripted, when Johnny Carson was delivering the monologue and interviewing guests, there was always something unpredictable happening. When it did, Carson demonstrated time and time again that he was the master of situational improvisation. That is clear in the clips in this two-disc collection.

 Some are from his monologue where he responds to the crowd reaction, playing off them as well as Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen. While some of the guests are stars, many are offbeat and unusual people. There is the man that makes jewelry from quail droppings, the queen of polka, a woman that set the record for cutting wood with a hatchet, two darling little girls that tell jokes and a weird segment where Johnny steps into a shower so that women can, “shower with a star.”

 My favorite was the woman that played flutes through her nostrils. She was wearing a dress and the show really went sideways when she stood on her head to play the flutes. Of course, her dress dropped down to near her chin. Carson was known for being willing to tolerate having animals on the show, knowing that they were completely unpredictable. There is one segment with Jim Fowler.

  Carson’s time has passed, and others have taken his place in the talk show format that he pioneered. Yet, none of them can match his ability to take an unusual or difficult situation and milk it for laughs. You can watch these clips several times and never fail to be amused.

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