Search
Latest Posts

Review - The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson:  The Vault Series

If you're of a certain age, and I am, your first exposure to late night television was The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  Carson held court as the host of The Tonight Show for over 30 years.  During that time he set the standard for everyone who would come after them.

The footage from this landmark series hasn't been seen since Carson's retirement in 1992.  All of that has changed with Time-Life's new release of The Vault Series.



THE VAULT SERIES gives viewers the opportunity to relive the incomparable magic of a night with Johnny, Ed and Doc. These collections feature some of the best and most requested episodes from over 4,000 shows -- including material not seen by the public since the original broadcasts!

Among the many highlights are the 10th and 11th anniversary shows and Johnny’s birthday episodes, a week of shows from March 1976, visits from Carnac the Magnificent and the Mighty Carson Art Players, and Johnny singing Rhinestone Cowboy astride a donkey.

Carson is also at his best bantering with famous friends including Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Richard Pryor, Muhammad Ali, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Sean Connery, John Denver, Peter Fonda, Charlton Heston, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Paul McCartney, Burt Reynolds, Don Rickles, Orson Welles, and many others.



Hours of highly-entertaining bonus features are also included on the multi-disc sets, and feature bonus monologues, in-depth interviews, and additional clips with Lucille Ball, James Brown, Rodney Dangerfield, David Letterman, Joan Embery and her wild animals, the beloved Aunt Blabby, and a Hollywood stuntwoman demonstration.

THE VAULT SERIES retail DVD configurations includes:

Single disc release (2 shows) 
3-disc collector’s set (6 shows + nearly an hour of bonus features),
6-disc collector’s set (12 shows + two hours of exclusive extras) and
12-disc deluxe edition collector’s set (24 shows + over 4 hours of exclusive extras)

I had the opportunity to review the 6-disc set.  What a blast!  The shows are clearly taken from old tapes, so the clarity isn't up to current standards, but it doesn't matter.  Watching Carson at the height of his power is a treat.  His genius is effortless.

These shows are taken from when Carson would do 90-minute shows.  Take for example the show from August 4, 1977.  After a spotty monologue, Carson wheels out The Great Carnak, Joan Embery and her animals, Orson Bean, Andy Kaufman and violinist Eugene Fodor.  The diversity of the panel is ridiculous and each guest got plenty of time to interact with the King.

Nobody was yelling.  There were no games.  Just an episode of end-to-end entertainment.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson:  The Vault Series is available for purchase now.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a set.  


Posted in: Television
Geeks






Archives
March 2017 (11)
February 2017 (10)
January 2017 (20)
December 2016 (10)
November 2016 (11)
October 2016 (22)
September 2016 (25)
August 2016 (24)
July 2016 (27)
June 2016 (22)
May 2016 (20)
April 2016 (23)
March 2016 (24)
February 2016 (22)
January 2016 (18)
December 2015 (8)
November 2015 (16)
October 2015 (19)
September 2015 (30)
August 2015 (20)
July 2015 (24)
June 2015 (26)
May 2015 (31)
April 2015 (21)
March 2015 (25)
February 2015 (18)
January 2015 (13)
December 2014 (16)
November 2014 (13)
October 2014 (21)
September 2014 (33)
August 2014 (22)
July 2014 (32)
June 2014 (31)
May 2014 (20)
April 2014 (18)
March 2014 (14)
February 2014 (20)
January 2014 (23)
December 2013 (12)
November 2013 (16)
October 2013 (29)
September 2013 (26)
August 2013 (21)
July 2013 (23)
June 2013 (18)
May 2013 (39)
April 2013 (23)
March 2013 (33)
February 2013 (21)
January 2013 (22)
December 2012 (18)
November 2012 (17)
October 2012 (28)
September 2012 (20)
August 2012 (22)
July 2012 (38)
June 2012 (28)
May 2012 (31)
April 2012 (22)
March 2012 (33)
February 2012 (27)
January 2012 (13)
December 2011 (17)
November 2011 (15)
October 2011 (23)
September 2011 (24)
August 2011 (26)
July 2011 (33)
June 2011 (17)
May 2011 (34)
April 2011 (19)
March 2011 (18)
February 2011 (16)
January 2011 (11)
December 2010 (16)
November 2010 (12)
October 2010 (19)
September 2010 (12)
August 2010 (16)
July 2010 (16)
June 2010 (5)
May 2010 (2)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (3)
February 2010 (8)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (3)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (4)
September 2009 (1)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (2)
May 2009 (4)
April 2009 (3)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (10)
January 2009 (12)
December 2008 (5)
November 2008 (4)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (1)
August 2008 (3)
May 2008 (4)
April 2008 (8)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (18)
January 2008 (3)
Further archives from 2008 and 2009 are available at the old Wordpress site. Click the logo below to break into the old apartment.