TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON, THE {ORSON WELLES, DEBBIE REYNOLDS, CHRIS EVERT} (TV)

Summary

One in this series of late-night talk/variety programs hosted by Johnny Carson. Carson's guests for this program are actor/director Orson Welles, actress/singer Debbie Reynolds, and tennis champion Chris Evert. In his opening monologue, Carson touches on the following topics, among others: the previous night's "dumb" audience; bandleader Tommy Newsom's snappy attire; actor Redd Foxx's potential departure from NBC; and the antics of President Ford and his opponents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Carson scolds the audience for missing a certain joke before realizing that he himself mispronounced the punchline's name.

Carson sits down with co-host Ed McMahon and reflects on their respective single days, after which Carson reads out the descriptions of some unusual local singles' bars. The first guest, Welles, joins Carson and discusses why vaudeville is "the greatest ego trip in the world"; a bizarre and embarrassing incident from his past in which he entered the wrong theater and interrupted Katharine Cornell and Marlon Brando's production of "Candida," in which he himself had previously starred as Marchbanks; a story from Carson about a bungled magic trick; and Welles' memories of Louis B. Mayer's star-studded birthday party, to which he brought a misbehaving rabbit for a magic trick. Welles then presents Carson with an "Academy" Award from the Association of American Magicians, and he recruits McMahon to assist with a complex card trick, which seems to come off successfully.

Reynolds takes the stage and performs "You Made Me Love You" from her Broadway show "Irene," and then sits down with Carson to discuss the challenges of putting together a stage show; her views on aging and the disappointing nature of the last several years, thanks in part to the Culinary Union's strike in Las Vegas; her excitement for the upcoming bicentennial celebration; her past as a Girl Scout; her single status and disinterest in marrying for a third time; her daughter Carrie Fisher's trip to London to work on "a picture with Alec Guinness"; her hopes for "a little peace and quiet" now that her children and stepchildren have matured; and Reynolds' and Welles' memories of the notoriously shy and eccentric Howard Hughes, who died in April.

The final guest, Evert, then takes the stage and discusses her interest in tennis from a young age; the relative importance of female athletes' appearance and attire; her nervousness about the upcoming Wimbledon tennis tournament, where she will play against Australian champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley; and her explanation of how seeded players, such as Martina Navratilova, are matched for tournaments. Carson apologizes to actor Paul Sorvino, whose appearance was omitted for time. Includes commercials and promos.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: April 9, 1976 11:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:15:13
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:82021
  • GENRE: Talk/Interview
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy/Variety
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1962-1992
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Betty Crocker Devil's Food cakes^TV - Commercials - Texize Fantastik household cleaner^TV - Commercials - Schlitz beer^TV - Commercials - Green Giant Le Sueur Combinations vegetables^TV - Commercials - Wishbone salad dressings^TV - Commercials - Purina Meow Mix cat food^TV - Commercials - Simmons Beautyrest mattresses^TV - Commercials - Kraft Cool Whip whipped topping^TV - Commercials - Revlon Natural Wonder mascara^TV - Commercials - Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels^TV - Commercials - Datril pain reliever^TV - Commercials - Windex glass cleaner^TV - Commercials - Pillsbury chocolate-chip cookies^TV - Commercials - Pillsbury Hungry Jack mashed potatoes^TV - Promos - "The Rich Little Show"

CREDITS

    • NBC Orchestra, The … Music by
    • Tommy Newsom … Conductor
    • Johnny Carson … Host
    • Ed McMahon … Co-Host
    • Debbie Reynolds … Guest, Performer
    • Orson Welles … Guest
    • Chris Evert … Guest
    • Marlon Brando
    • Katharine Cornell
    • Carrie Fisher
    • Gerald Ford
    • Redd Foxx
    • Evonne Goolagong Cawley
    • Alec Guinness
    • Howard Hughes
    • Louis B. Mayer
    • Martina Navratilova
    • Ronald Reagan
    • Paul Sorvino