Skip to comments.Lost Johnny Carson film found at March [AFB]
Posted on 10/14/2012 1:44:32 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
10/11/2012 - MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Once thought to be lost, a film reel containing clips of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, was discovered in a military visual information storage facility here and turned over to Jeff Sotzing, Carson's nephew, Oct. 1.
The clips, dating back to 1963, were found on an archived 16mm film reel stored at the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center just outside March Air Reserve Base.
In the past, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service would receive film reels from the production studios and distribute the programming to service members around the world. After the footage was shown and no longer needed, it was returned to the studios, destroyed, or sometimes kept on site at the AFRTS facility, now called the American Forces Network Broadcast Center (AFN-BC).
"Somebody had the brains or historical foresight to save this reel," said Pedro Loureiro, Ph.D., archivist at DIMOC.
According to Loureiro, the television industry previously reused its tapes. Newer episodes were recorded over the older material without much thought of archiving what is now thought of as part of the "golden age" of television.
"Everything from the 1960's is considered lost," he said.
"That's what they did with everybody's show," said Sotzing, Chief Executive Officer of the Carson Entertainment Group, the owners of Carson's archives. Besides being related to the late Johnny Carson, Sotzing even worked on the show from 1977-1992, working his way up from runner to producing the show.
"I'm really looking forward to adding this film to the collection. Almost everything [the Carson Show] from 1962-1973 is gone," said Sotzing.
Mary Carnes, a retired program support manager at AFN-BC, discovered the reel as she was sorting through a box of old items that had been overlooked for years.
"As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a gem," Carnes said. "Giving it back to the family and the Carson archives will be like a birthday or Christmas for them."
"This is one of the great parts of the job here; we can do the work we do to entertain our troops and document history at the same time," she said. "It's really great."
Great is an understatement. In all, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson highlighted nearly 23,000 stars in 4,351 episodes over a 30-year span. Carson won six Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Kennedy Center Honors and is a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
"Johnny would make an on-air plea (for lost footage)," Sotzing said. "He would be thrilled to get this."
"A lot of young people don't know who Johnny Carson is," he said. "This helps show them."
The DIMOC facility contains vast amounts of still photos, video footage and even correspondence letters dating back to WWII.
The found footage will be digitally recorded, transcribed and then made available for users of the Carson Entertainment Group's searchable online archives. The physical footage will be stored at a former salt mine in Hutchinson, Kan., which currently houses the Carson archives as well as many other Hollywood film archives, according to Sotzing.
So would I. Can’t believe how many of the excellent Carson moments I remember. When they show them from time to time, I remember when they first aired.
“A lot of young people don’t know who Johnny Carson is,” he said.
Boy, ain’t the truth. I remember hearing a 17 year old girl say something about Bob Hope a year or two after he died. She wasn’t sure that he had been a real person! She was shocked to learn that he had been an incredibly famous vaudeville, radio, film and television star for decades and decades. She had no idea.
Check this out. Some of the funniest moments on television I’ve ever seen.
In the old days, Carson was on for 90 minutes, and his guests would stay and stack up. The talent he had out there at one time was not infrequently some of the sharpest entertainment minds of all time.
I gave birth to my first child a few hours before the famous tomahawk throuwing segment. Painful!!
At least that one was not lost! :-))
The same way we lost the MASA original video tape of Neil Armstrongs moon landing.
NASA reused the tape.
Video tape was very expensive at the time but talk about a duh moment.
Several entertainers from that era took possession of the films after the studios were through with them. The studios of the time didn’t see the need to keep them.
Those collections exist only because the entertainers had enough foresight to keep them safe.
Wasn’t it a Universal warehouse that burned down a few years ago, sending many one-of-a-kind video/film treasures up in flame?
Thanks for posting. I love watching the old stars. The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts are good too. Classic TV. Don Rickles and Burt Reynolds were always good guests on Johnny’s Show. Angie Dickinson comes to mind—she and Johnny had chemistry. When Liz Taylor died, I posted a video of Johnny and her on his show. She was older then, but looked great and very funny.
So many funny, classic moments on his show over the years.
Ha, ha—at the end he said Carol Wayne was coming up. I used to love the comedy bits he did with her as the sleazy salesman.
One of my favorites was Johnny as the sleazy car salesman Art Fern who instructed viewers to: "Take the Hollywood freeway to the Slauson cutoff. Get out of your car and cut off your Slauson."
I apologize folks. That was supposed to read ‘spontaneously’ funny. My spell-checker slipped one by me.
That’s cool. One event reminds you of the other.
My pleasure. I agree with your take on those moments too.
So did I. His innuendo regarding her chest used to have me laughing out loud. You know, she played the part so well too.
Remember how they’d cut back to them and they would be making out. It was really a slice of afternoon matinee television parody. Just a delight.
That’s right. I viewed many of these shows from Missouri. Out in California now, I drive by some of those exits from time to time.
I have yet to find that fork in the road though. LOL, my tires have picked up everything else over the years though.
Thank you Great Seer from the East. ;^)
Lot’s of great one-liners in those skits for sure.
And Carson told Ames that he didn’t even know he was Jewish!! One of the great moments in TV history.