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The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1 Viewer)

BobO'Link

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I recently purchased a DVD set: "The Ultimate Johnny Carson Collection - His Favorite Moments from The Tonight Show, Volumes 1-3." I got a copy for ~$4 which was cheap enough for me to take a chance on the show again. I'd not seen it or any clips since it went off the air on 5/22/92. I sampled Letterman and Leno but didn't care for either. They weren't Carson.

Carson was one of those shows that, at the time, we just took for granted. He was always on but we were never "regular" viewers in my house. Growing up I'd watch occasionally but was in the band and we (us band nerds) *all* knew who Doc Severinsen was. He was something of a hero to us young musicians. My first date was to see him in concert. He appeared with the Memphis Symphony one winter and my girlfriend's parents purchased us tickets to the concert for Christmas (she was a trumpet player - I played trombone and we both loved big band). 3rd row center! We weren't old enough to drive so they drove us to Memphis, took us to dinner, dropped us off at the venue, and picked us up when the concert was over. Her parents were great - no... we didn't marry.

When I moved out on my own I'd tune in to see who the guests were and decide whether or not to watch. I *always* watched if Jack Hannah was going to be on. At the height of my viewing I'd watch 2-3 episodes per week but I don't thing I ever truly appreciated just how *good* Carson was. He's so natural and genuine in his attention and interest when talking to the various guests.

So... last night I watched the set. WOW! I'd forgotten just how good the man was on that program. The three "Best of" shows just leave you wanting more. It also includes the final two programs, shows I didn't watch when they aired and have never seen before. At the time there was huge press about his leaving the show and I fully expected those last few weeks to be nothing more than big self-congratulatory type affairs. If those last two episodes are any indication, I was 100% wrong. They are anything but. It was so obvious he *hated* leaving the show and it makes me wonder if he later regretted it.

Those episodes were just superb! So much so that I find myself wanting more. It's a matter of deciding between other best of discs/episodes or some containing full episodes.

I'd forgotten just how familiar the NBC Peacock "The following program is presented in living color by NBC" was and how much I miss seeing and hearing that little ID before programs.

The viewings were TVonDVD comfort food of the highest magnitude! I *love* this hobby! :)
 

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