Posts Tagged ‘the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson’

Remembering Jonathan Winters

Friday, April 12th, 2013

We’re sad to hear of the passing of comedian Jonathan Winters, who died last night at the age of 87 of natural causes in Montecito, California. Winters had a prolific career in television and film, and was known for many of the memorable characters he created, including “Maude Frickert”, “Elwood P. Suggins”, and “King Kwasi.” He made several appearances on The Tonight Show over the years, had his own program, The Jonathan Winters Show, and won an Emmy for his role on Davis Rules.

Below are some selections from Winters’ 2002 Archive interview:

On appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson:

On “Maude Frickert”:

On Robin Williams and appearing on Mork & Mindy:

On advice for aspiring comedians:

Watch Jonathan Winters’ full Archive interview and read his obituary in The New York Times.

One More For the Road: “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” Ended 20 Years Ago

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

On May 22, 1992, Johnny Carson’s record-setting thirty-year reign as host of The Tonight Show came to an end. Carson took over The Tonight Show from predecessor Jack Paar on October 1, 1962, and over the next three decades delighted the world with “Carnac the Magnificent” skits, the wedding of Tiny Tim, and the national debuts of young comics Garry Shandling and Jerry Seinfeld. Carson left The Tonight Show twenty years ago today, and many would argue that every late-night host since has been trying to fill his shoes.

Bette Midler was a regular on the program, and memorably appeared as the last guest on Carson’s Tonight Show:

Many of the Archive’s interviewees worked on or appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Have a look as they reflect upon the show’s thirty-year run and gracious host.

Sidekick Ed McMahon on the legacy of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Ernest Borgnine on working with Johnny Carson:

Phyllis Diller on getting booked on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Jonathan Winters on how Carson decided on conversation topics for guests:

Learn more about The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at our show page.

7 pieces of comic wisdom from Phyllis Diller

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Phyllis Diller was interviewed for the Archive of American Television in 2000 about her long career in comedy, both on TV and the stage. Her trademark cigarette, fright wig, and of course, that iconic laugh were all discussed during her three-hour interview by Fred Wostbrock. We’ve selected some short clips from Phyllis about her tricks of the trade, and advice to young comics (not “comediennes”, she prefers “comic”!) and just how the heck to be funny after all these years.

Phyllis Diller’s advice to aspiring comics:

On her iconic laugh:

On the difference between being a comedic actress and a “COMIC”:

On why she always held a prop cigarette:

On why she picked on “Fang” and how he became a standard bit in her act:

On her iconic “look”- the wig, the theatrics:

On the importance of TV to a comic’s career: