The Johnny Carson Show

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The Johnny Carson Show
TheJohnnyCarsonShow.jpg
Format Variety series
Presented by Johnny Carson
Theme music composer Jerome Kern (music) and Dorothy Fields (lyrics)
Opening theme "Pick Yourself Up"
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 39
Production
Producer(s) Ben Brady
Location(s) CBS Television City
Hollywood, California
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 1.33 : 1 monochrome
Audio format monaural
Original run June 30, 1955 – March 29, 1956

The Johnny Carson Show is a 1955-56 half hour prime time television variety show starring Johnny Carson.

While working as a staff writer on The Red Skelton Show, local Los Angeles television comedian Carson filled in as host when Skelton was injured during a show rehearsal.[1][2] As a result of Carson’s performance, CBS created the primetime variety program The Johnny Carson Show, a traditional potpourri of comedy, music, dance, skits and monologues. It aired on Thursday nights at 10pm ET.

The short-lived 1955-56 series served as a precursor of what would come later for Carson, planting the seeds for sketches he would perform on the later The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson such as "Mighty Carson Art Players". However, the show flopped in the ratings and was quickly cancelled. This show was produced in Los Angeles at CBS Television City. The show was alternately sponsored by Revlon, and General Foods (Jell-O, instant Sanka, and Minute Rice).[3]

Carson with guest William Bendix in 1955.

In a 1978 profile of Carson in The New Yorker, Kenneth Tynan described the Johnny Carson Show as "a half-hour program that goes through seven directors, eight writers, and thirty-nine weeks of worsening health before expiring, in the spring of 1956." Carson wound up hosting a daytime game show called Who Do You Trust? (1957–62) until he was tapped by NBC to replace the departing Jack Paar as host of The Tonight Show in 1962.

Kinescopes of ten episodes from the series were discovered in a closet by Carson's second wife Joanne and released by Shout Factory on DVD in 2007. Joanne Carson says the kinescopes were hand-picked by Carson as a courtship gift to her and featured his favorite episodes from the series. Additional episodes survive at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Skelton Butts Scenery, Sprains Neck". Rome News-Tribune. August 18, 1954. p. 12. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Johnny Carson-Professional Cutup". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. July 4, 1965. p. 23. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ The Best of Johnny Carson and Friends. Perfs. Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Mel Brooks, Ronald Reagan. DVD. Mill Creek Entertainment, 2009.

External links[edit]