One in this series of late-night talk/variety programs hosted by Johnny Carson. On this program, Carson's guests are actor/comedian Michael Palin, musical group Restless Heart, and artist Jon Serl. In his opening monologue, Carson comments on the following topics, among others: Christmas shopping and the assembly required for toys; the vast array of celebrity perfumes; and the opening of a McDonald's restaurant in Moscow. Throughout the monologue he has a running feud with "Doc" Severinsen concerning the proper pronunciation and spelling of "poinsettia," in which Ed McMahon and Fred De Cordova also become involved. Carson and McMahon then investigate some unusual gifts for Christmas, including a pig oinking to the tune of "Jingle Bells," a mooning Santa, a Japanese cow alarm clock, a dancing cactus, and a wild Christmas hat. Carson's first guest, Michael Palin, begins by talking about the funeral of his Monty Python colleague, Graham Chapman, and how John Cleese eulogized him in a way that recalled Monty Python's famous "Dead Parrot" sketch. Palin then discusses filming the seven-part television series "Around the World in 80 Days" in which he retraces Phinneas Fogg's steps using only ground transportation. He recalls funny, unusual, and dangerous moments from the trip including: getting seasick on a small boat in the Persian Gulf; eating at a restaurant in China where all the dishes feature snake, similar to the Monty Python sketch in which all the dishes feature Spam; and a bomb scare on returning home to London. Next, the musical group Restless Heart sings the title song from their album, "Fast Moving Train." Closing the show, Carson introduces the ninety-five-year-old painter, Jon Serl, who explains that he originally decided to paint because he wanted to buy paintings for his house but found he couldn't afford any. He says he's been called a modern-day Rousseau and explains that he paints on wood because it's durable and can withstand his temper tantrums. Includes commercials and promos.


  • DATE: December 14, 1989 Thursday 11:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:58:52
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:43587
  • GENRE: Talk/Interviews
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1962-1992
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Dearfoams slippers^TV - Commercials - Western Union ^TV - Commercials - Remington electric shavers^TV - Commercials - Magnavox televisions^TV - Commercials - Domino's Pizza^TV - Commercials - Sears department stores^TV - Commercials - "Family Business" (feature film)^TV - Commercials - Presto salad shooter^TV - Commercials - MasterCard credit card^TV - Commercials - Toyota Camry automobiles^TV - Commercials - Honda Civic automobiles^TV - Commercials - "Three Fugitives" (home video)^TV - Commercials - Skil cordless power wrench^TV - Commercials - AT&T Telecommunications^TV - Promos - "Late Night with David Letterman"^TV - Promos - "Later"^TV - Promos - "Baywatch"^TV - Promos - "True Blue"^TV - Promos - "Mancuso, FBI"


  • De Cordova, Fred … Executive Producer
  • Severinsen, Carl "Doc" … Conductor
  • NBC Orchestra, The … Music Group
  • Johnny Carson … Host
  • Ed McMahon … Announcer
  • Restless Heart … Performers
  • Michael Palin … Guest
  • Jon Serl … Guest