Long before Leno and Letterman, Johnny Carson was the King of Late Night television. Every evening you snuggled up and invited Johnny and his menagerie of interesting guests into your home to help you wrap up another day.
Opening The New York Times this morning was the exciting news that the 30-year history of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was making a return engagement appearing oh so conveniently right on the Internet.
Sadly the Times reported that “not much from the first 10 years of Carson’s “Tonight Show” (he took over in 1962) has survived, having been destroyed in an era when no one contemplated the possibility of home video.” That said, what has survived in a remarkable collection of online memories that will leave you remembering just how great this late night king was.
From a marketing point of view, it looks like there is going to be a huge amount of public relations activity related to the exciting news of Carson’s return. The write-up in the Times along with the other news stories appearing all over signal the announcement that the Carson Productions team (now headed by a nephew of Johnny) is out to get the Carson collection into the hands of as many people as possible. Yes, there is are DVDs and yes, the Carson Production team is hoping to license Johnny for all types of marketing and advertising opportunities. But you don’t have to be a big budget advertiser or senior marketing executive to be able to go back and enjoy the talents of Johnny as his guests.
Fact is, you just head to www.johnnycarson.com and you can take in a variety of online clips and quips that will make you fall in love with this super talent as well as the variety of people he surrounded himself with. Visiting the website gives you an opportunity for example to catch Johnny (wearing what may be the most colorful sports jacket you’ve ever seen) introducing Rodney Dangerfield, the man who proudly proclaimed that he got no respect. Rodney’s brief Tonight Show comic routine is a not-to-be-missed winner. Also, wait until you catch a clip of a young Jerry Seinfeld describing the gentle cycle of a washing machine as only the mild mannered Seinfeld can. Plus, with all the current Betty White hype, you won’t want to miss the Betty White/Johnny Carson restaurant sketch.
And that’s just the beginning-a brief overview of what awaits you on the Johnny Carson and company website. Even with all the variety of TV talent and programming available late night today, make sure you make time to see the master in action. Heeere’s Johnny. It’s so nice to have him back if only so we can laugh out loud and remember just how great late night television used to be.