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.
Here is one for you.
Yes, those roasts are also very good. I agree. I like them too.
I’m not a big Carol Burnett fan, due to some of her antics after her show ran it’s course, but that show was another amazingly funny show.
Great line huh.
Ed Ames and Johnny. A classic.
Hey thanks. I should have looked for it. Nice one...
The only reason the “I Love Lucy” episodes are available is that they were shot on black and white film in LA, and shipped to NY for airing.
Film is a much better preservation mechanism than video and the likelihood of setting aside in a vault greater since there’s no potential value by erasure.
The movie it’s a “Mad Mad...World” was shot in color and as I heard the only copy stored in a non temperature controlled vault. The emulsion stuck to cellophane. But then I think they were able to save most of it.
Printed material has a better chance of survival.
Yes, so funny. She was great. She died, right? Seems like I remember something about the ocean, but don't know if I'm thinking of the right person. I think I heard she was actually very smart.
Yes, I loved Carol Burnett too. Eunice and Mama and Ed. Vickie Lawrence was great! Great talent. The perfect dysfunctional family. Oh, thanks for going down memory lane with me. I was a grade schooler in the 70's, but I remember all those shows. I remember the original SNL's too even though I was 7 in 1975 when they started. I watched them all faithfully. Great to think about old times. The old stars. I often watch those roasts and see people I've forgotten about.
Now THAT is some meaningful context.
That's the way it's been for me, too.
One of the absolute funniest skits was on the Carol Burnet show in 1969. It was Tim Conway as the Dentist and Harvey Corman as the patient.
They will film 2 versions in front of a live audience and then cut the 2 versions for the final TV program.
The version on Youtube is good, but the original version (I thought) was better. I think Tim and Harvey repeated the skit in one of the later Carol Burnet programs.
[Watch Harvey. He can hardly contain himself.]
Carol Wayne: Death
In January 1985, Wayne and her companion Edward Durston were vacationing at the Las Hadas Resort in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. After an argument with Durston, Wayne reportedly left to take a walk on the beach. Three days later a local fisherman found Wayne’s body in the shallow bay.
Authorities later discovered Durston had checked out of the resort the day the couple argued. He had left Wayne’s luggage at the airport. Later, an autopsy performed in Mexico revealed no signs of drugs or alcohol in Wayne’s body. Her death was eventually ruled as “accidental”.
Yes, the early SNLs were quite good. There has been some great talent emerge from there. Some not very good talent has come out of there also.
I quite watching in the 80s. I’ve gone back a few times, but the leftist vent, and some of the skits just being boorish, unfunny, and a waste of time to sit through, killed my desire.
Second City was a source for some of the talent on SNL. I believe the Toronto location was where most of them came from, at least in the early days. http://www.secondcity.com/
More references: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=second+city+saturday+night+live&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=
I’d say if your husband also watched the segment, he too might have had a moment of pain. LOL
Thank you so much for the ping. It made my day! I have always adored Johnny Carson beyond reason. I can’t wait until the archived clips are available!
I quit watching in the 80s. Ive gone back a few times, but the leftist vent, and some of the skits just being boorish, unfunny, and a waste of time to sit through, killed my desire.
Definitely not as good in the later years. Other than the original cast, The Billy Crystal years were pretty good and I liked the Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley years too.
I always liked this one where Johnny tracks down Don Rickles on the CPO Sharkey set to confront him about a broken cigarette box the previous night when Rickles was guest hosting.
Don Rickles on the Tonight Show
Don’t forget Akroid, Curtain, Chase, Murphy and a few others.
I think Murphy came in later, but the original cast was inspired.
I remember that. What a hoot. Rickles looked like a young kid called on the carpet by his father after a night of partying.