One in this series of late-night talk/variety programs hosted by Johnny Carson. Carson's guests for this program are singer Helen Reddy, actor/comedian George Gobel, clarinetist Pete Fountain and former con man Frank Abagnale. In his opening monologue, Carson touches on the following topics, among others: LAPD Chief Edward M. Davis' stance on the death penalty; memories of Carson's rustic Nebraska childhood; Memorial Day and Marine vet Ed McMahon's celebration plans; the upcoming Indianapolis 500 and its inclusion of its first female driver, Janet Guthrie; the opening of the first legal casino on the eastern coast in Atlantic City; a potential postal workers' strike; and the sad life of Oscar the octopus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

McMahon then visits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and chats with inept race-car driver Billy Joe Frist (portrayed by Carson), who chats about his life, his unhappy marriage, and his disappointing race times, which he blames on his lethargic pit crew.

The first guest, Reddy, takes the stage and performs "Ready or Not" from her new album "Sing in the Sunshine," after which she sits down with Carson and discusses her recent trip to London and appearance on "The Muppet Show"; being a third-generation performer in her artistic family; her interest in women's rights and disappointment at being unable to attend the upcoming Equal Rights Amendment rally in Washington D.C. on July 9th; her experience with an ill-timed hotel workers' strike; her four sold-out shows at the Palladium in London; her role as commission with the California Department of Parks and Recreation; and her recent poor tennis performance against the "sneaky" Norman Lear at a charity tournament. She then performs "Sing in the Sunshine."

Next, Gobel performs a song about a dog called "Ol' Sam," admitting that he does not have a good rapport with dogs, and then chats with Carson about his past appearances on the show; his plans to attend a Memorial Day cookout; his bizarre "favorite recipes" for picnic food; and some of his memorably outrageous answers on "The Hollywood Squares."

Fountain, set to appear at Disneyland in the near future, takes the stage and plays two numbers with The NBC Orchestra. Finally, Abagnale sits down with Carson and discusses why his life of crime was "lonely" rather than "glamorous"; his work with early offenders and attempts to convince them to make better choices; why prison may or may not be a deterrent for certain crimes; his harrowing, near-fatal six months in a French jail; how he missed out on a normal childhood and adolescence because of his actions; and his explanation of a classic con in which one shortchanges a teller with a "psychological crime," demonstrated successfully and then unsuccessfully in two videos clips and in person with Carson. Includes commercials and promos.


  • DATE: May 26, 1978 11:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:15:57
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:91656
  • GENRE: Talk/Interview
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy/Variety
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1962-1992
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - KitchenAid dishwashers^TV - Commercials - Fiat automobiles^TV - Commercials - Kodak ColorBurst cameras^TV - Commercials - Sherwin-Williams house paint^TV - Commercials - Eveready batteries^TV - Commercials - Revlon Flex anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner^TV - Commercials - Delta Airlines^TV - Commercials - Budweiser beers^TV - Commercials - Ekco kitchenware^TV - Commercials - General Mills Bran Chex cereal^TV - Commercials - "The End" motion picture^TV - Commercials - Glass Plus cleaner^TV - Commercials - Dubonnet wines^TV - Commercials - United Airlines^TV - Commercial - Litton appliances^TV - Commercials - Kodak Eastman 910 Adhesive^TV - Promos - "The Courage and the Passion"^TV - Promos - "Saturday Night Live"


  • NBC Orchestra, The … Music by
  • Doc Severinsen … Conductor
  • Johnny Carson … Host
  • Ed McMahon … Co-Host
  • Helen Reddy … Guest, Performer
  • George Gobel … Guest, Performer
  • Pete Fountain … Guest, Performer
  • Frank Abagnale … Guest
  • Edward M. Davis
  • Janet Guthrie
  • Norman Lear