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DVD Review: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series
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Johnny Carson: The Vault Series

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series
DVD
Time Life
Release date: October 4, 2016

Johnny Carson, the pioneer of late night television, whose incarnation of The Tonight Show ran for 30 years on NBC, is now available in newly packaged deluxe DVD set from Time-Life entitled The Vault Series, showcasing some of the best and most requested episodes from that program.

With the current success of The Tonight Show in reruns on Antenna TV, Johnny Carson’s famous visage, wit, distinctive voice, intelligence, and propensity to have a smooth control throughout has been resurrected for audiences young and old. Chock full of entertainment variety including a virtual who’s who of celebrities and musical acts, ranging from Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Paul McCartney, Muhammad Ali, Jack Benny, Richard Pryor, Sean Connery, Jerry Lewis, Buddy Rich, Don Rickles, Orson Welles, and scores of others, one would be hard pressed to find a celebrity who didn’t make his way on the program, which originally ran from 1962 to 1992. With hilarious sketches that usually parodied the pop culture of the times, and of course the banter between Carson and sidekick stalwart Ed McMahon, The Tonight Show was the perennial go-to program for most of America as the twilight hour surfaced, five nights a week.

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Remembering Legendary Comedian Jack Benny
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Jack Benny

Today is the 40th anniversary of the passing of one of the great early American comedians of his age or any age, the inimitable Jack Benny. And that sad milestone is a reminder just how important the resurrection of the man and the appreciation for his dry, jocular, razor-sharp wit and sense of humor needs to be stressed and ultimately enjoyed in today’s era.

Regardless of today’s perception and remembrance of the man, Jack Benny nevertheless was a titan among titans. He could mow down a room with a short hysterical utterance of a one-liner and he could slice wit like a brain surgeon, extant with the best of them. Only the rapier wit of Groucho Marx would be the closest thing to the kind of parlayed sense of humor and the quick rat-at-at machine gun style that came out of Jack Benny with frightening ease, and the result was a career that found him a superstar of comedy on many different occasions, in many different projects, all of them finding stellar success for the man and the genre.

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Biopic Film For Former King Of Late Night TV Johnny Carson In The Works
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Johnny Carson

A biopic is in the works for Johnny Carson, the long-running host of The Tonight Show who became an American Institution of television during his reign. CNN reports that the project, which is currently untitled, has been given the go ahead by the Carson Estate to be adapted into a screenplay from the upcoming biography by journalist Bill Zemhe, entitled Carson the Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait.

There is still no studio, director or actors attached to the project, but producer Tom Thayer, who just finished a biopic of the Master of Suspense, director Alfred Hitchcock (entitled simply Hitchcock) which stars Anthony Hopkins and will be released shortly, is secure that a project like this will attract the right team of people to bring it up from standard pedestrian typical biopic fare.

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That Escalated Quickly: Conan O’Brien Says He Won’t Do 12:05 ‘Tonight Show’
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Conan O'Brien

If you’re on the internet, then you’ve surely heard about the drama going down at NBC right now. The studio had a major freak-out about their dwindling ratings after Conan O’Brien took over the legendary hosting duties of The Tonight Show from Jay Leno, who came back with his new gig The Jay Leno Show. In an effort to make all of the boo-boos go away as quickly as possible, NBC made the panic-induced decision to bump Leno’s new show up to 11:35PM (the long-time slot of The Tonight Show), effectively pushing Conan back to 12:05AM.

After all of this, rumors began tearing across the stratosphere, claiming word of O’Brien’s possible departure, and how FOX had supposedly put out big offers to both Leno and Conan (FOX making a smart move? Interesting). So would Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno just go along with NBC plans and hope that it all worked out, or would they both take offense and walk away?

It looks like Leno is a-okay with doing his show at 11:35 again, but now comes word via an open letter to the New York Times from Conan O’Brien himself that he will simply not stand for this. In his letter, he goes over the situation and explains why he can’t be a part of the changes — all reasons that make all the sense in the world.

Continue reading to check out the full letter from Mr. O’Brien.

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Good News Everyone: Hugh Jackman NOT Hosting The Oscars; Who’s Next?
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Oscars

It’s being reported that last year’s Academy Awards host, Hugh Jackman, has decided that he doesn’t want to host for a second year in a row. Jackman currently has a Broadway show going on and obviously has other projects making him quite the busy man. He ensured that he might be willing to return sometime in the future, but as for consecutive appearances, he was not interested.

Every year, fans of the Oscar ceremony anxiously wonder who will host the show that year. The decision on who will host sets the entire table and hints at whether you get really excited, or really skeptical of the show and how entertaining it could be.

Last year, Jackman was brought in to host the ceremony. It was one of many new moves that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science have taken to try and refresh the awards and bring new fans in to fortify their dwindling ratings numbers. Traditionally, the Oscars were hosted by comedic entertainers and actors who weren’t usually nominated and could really own the stage — most popular of them being either Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal. Jackman did a great job with the production and, being a well-trained stage actor, had no problem making a flashy show of it, although his effort was met with many mixed reactions overall.

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