TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON, THE {DESI ARNAZ, ROBERT BLAKE, BOB HOPE, DON RICKLES} (TV)

Summary

One in this series of late-night talk/variety programs hosted by Johnny Carson. Carson's guests for this program are actor Robert Blake, comedians Don Rickles and Bob Hope, and actor Desi Arnaz. Carson appears onstage riding a donkey and wearing an appropriately bedazzled outfit as he sings "Rhinestone Cowboy," made famous by Glen Campbell. After the song, Carson performs a brief monologue in which he touches on the following topics, among others: the unusually cold weather; and the ongoing battle between President Ford and rival Ronald Reagan.

The first guest, Blake, joins Carson onstage and discusses his "exhausting" role on "Baretta"; his "Warsaw ghetto personality" and discomfort when his career seems too easy and comfortable; his plans for a very antisocial vacation; the challenges of being a famous entertainer; receiving the "Hasty Pudding Man of the Year" award from Harvard University, despite not having attended Harvard or any other school, having been tossed out of Santa Monica College; and the strange "Man of the Year" award ceremony, which featured drag performers.

Carson acknowledges Larry Weiss, writer of "Rhinestone Cowboy," in the audience before Rickles takes the stage and comments, in his usual sardonic way, on Blake's famous role in "In Cold Blood" (1967); his own training as a dramatic actor at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts; his upcoming guest appearance on "Medical Center" alongside the low-talking Chad Everett; Carson's not-so-memorable role on "Playhouse 90: Three Men on a Horse" (1957); and why all actors are naturally "inhibited," even after achieving great success.

Next, Hope joins the others onstage and discusses his new comedy show, "Joys," a spoof of "Jaws" (1975), set to air on the following night; a couple of funny outtakes from the show, featuring Don Knotts and Angie Dickinson, clips of which are then shown; and why he dislikes taking breaks from showbiz.

The final guest, Arnaz, sits down and comments on his simply-titled new memoir, "A Book"; his hometown in Cuba, where his father served as mayor and his uncle as chief of police; Hope's assistance in giving him his showbiz start by putting him on a radio show at Lucille Ball's request; his view of his successful career as "a whole bunch of accidents"; his partnership with bandleader Xavier Cugat, who provided him with an entirely non-Latino band; how he contributed to the popularity of the conga, his "dance of desperation"; praise for ex-wife Ball, whom he credits for "ninety percent" of the success of "I Love Lucy"; her insistence to the reluctant network that he join her on the popular radio program "My Favorite Husband," which led directly to "Lucy"; and encouragement from his son and "best friend" Desi Jr. to be honest in his memoir, even with the difficult topics. Includes commercials and promos.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: March 4, 1976 11:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:16:34
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:82106
  • GENRE: Talk/Interview
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy/Variety
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1962-1992
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Simmons Beautyrest mattresses^TV - Commercials - Vicks Formula 44 cough medicine^TV - Commercials - Revlon Super-Lustrous cosmetics^TV - Commercials - Delta Airlines^TV - Commercials - RinseNVac vacuum cleaners^TV - Commercials - Sanka decaffinated coffee^TV - Commercials - Spray n’ Wash stain remover^TV - Commercials - Bufferin painkillers^TV - Commercials - La Choy Chinese food^TV - Commercials - Diet Rite soft drinks^TV - Commercials - Celotex products^TV - Commercials - Water Pik devices^TV - Promos - "Ellery Queen"^TV - Promos - "Police Story"

CREDITS

  • The NBC Orchestra … Music by
  • Doc Severinsen … Conductor
  • Johnny Carson … Host
  • Ed McMahon … Co-Host
  • Robert Blake … Guest
  • Don Rickles … Guest
  • Bob Hope … Guest
  • Desi Arnaz … Guest
  • Larry Weiss … Guest
  • Desi Arnaz Jr.
  • Lucille Ball
  • Glen Campbell
  • Xavier Cugat
  • Angie Dickinson
  • Chad Everett
  • Gerald Ford
  • Don Knotts
  • Ronald Reagan
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