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TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JACK PAAR, THE
Jack Paar, Hugh Downs, Diahann Carroll, Jose Melis, Hans Conreid, Jack Haskell, Dody Goodman, Tubby Boots
July 29, 1957- March 30,1962.
Diahann Carroll's first appearance on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. First Afro American to appear with Jack Paar on The Tonight Show.
Announcer Hugh Downs opens the show stating, "The National Broadcasting Company Presents TONIGHT starring Jack Paar."
Jack Paar gives his customary 5 minute monologue, and introduces panel consisting of Dody Goodman, and Hans Conreid. Jack Haskell sings, "Darn That Green." Paar reminisces about a an old buddy he met from World War Two whom he had not seen in years. Orchestra leader, Jose Melies plays a piano medley. Dody Goodman reads her fan mail and answers questions. Jack introduces "New Discovery," Diahann Carroll who sings "Out of This World." She would be invited back by Jack appearing Oct. 2, 4, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Stand-up comedian Tubby Boots appears...his first TV show appearance. Paar talks to Hugh Downs about a ten year old boy, John Redding, who wanted to be on the show very badly and relates about his experience when coming to the show. Hugh tells anecdotal story about his son. Hans Conreid relates a story about his 3 year old son. Jack tells story about his eight year old daughter, Randy, who reacted to her mother Mirium, who said to her that "when two people love one another they become one." Randy replied, "YIKES, no wonder half the people in the world are disappearing." Dody Goodman recalls how she spends her day...dinner at Horn & Hardart. Paar, Goodman, Conreid check out the latest design in beds. Downs signs off, stating tomorrow's guests.
*FOR THE RECORD, as archivists are aware, most of THE JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOW SERIES which were broadcast on NBC TV from July 29, 1957 thru March 30, 1962 (A final BEST OF PAAR rerun originally televised November 21, 1961...guest Jack Benny)were ERASED, DESTROYED OR WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN.
2" Quadruplex Video Tape was expensive ($400 for a one hour reel), weighting 26 pounds, requiring great storage space. Video Tape could easily be erased and was used for new program recordings...retained briefly for a re-run and then erased or discarded. Legend has it that even Jack Paar himself hired a junk man to come to his home garage and paid to have JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOW recordings discarded (reels of kinescopes and video tapes) that were now cluttering up his space.
During this era in television history archiving television programming was not a primary concern or vision, and considered an arcane pursuit.
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS retains in their archive only 4 program excerpts accounting for only one hour or material of JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOWS (November 14, 1958, December 23, 1959, October 19, 1959, and one 33&1/3rd audio disc promotional from 1957 presenting Jack Paar the new host of the TONIGHT SHOW.
THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA retains in their archive only 7 program excerpts accounting for only four and a quarter hours of material (July 29, 1957, November 1, 1957, November 7, 1958, November 10, 1958, November 14, 1958, July 22, 1959, December 21, 1959).
UCLA FILM & TV ARCHIVE retains in their archive only 8 program excerpts accounting for only seven hours of material (August 12, 1957, November 1, 1957, November 10, 1958, November 11, 1958, November 14, 1958, July 22, 1959, December 21, 1959).
For over 62 years Phil Gries, creator and owner of ARCHIVAL TLEVISION AUDIO, Inc. has continued to be a passionate television audio archive collector. TRULY UNIQUE TODAY AS AN INDEPENDENT TV AUDIO ARCHIVE. Currently, in 2021, to date, ATA has collated and archived over 20,000 TV Audio Air Checks representing 20,000 hours of sound...tens of thousands of broadcasts which represent the ONLY SURVIVING BROAADCAST RECORD OF A SPECIFIC TELEVISION SHOW (1946-1982).
ARCHIVAL TELEVISION AUDIO, INC. retains over 70 complete and excerpt JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOW air checks (34 hours), including the complete Jack Paar's first anniversary telecast which was broadcast live from Havana Cuba (June 28, 1958). These originally recorded off the air pristine sound direct line 1/4" reel to reel audio tracks, recorded at the time of the original broadcasts, represent the only broadcast record of a "lost" visual telecast. ATA is the largest single repository (one collection), in the United Sates of Jack Paar Tonight Shows recordings.
The combined archives of The Library of Congress, Paley Center for Media, and UCLA Film & Television only retain a composite total of 13 hours of representative JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOW broadcasts excerpts...none complete.
For four years and eight months Jack Paar reigned supreme as host of the TONIGHT SHOW with a crew of regulars, but only two stayed with him for the entire run; announcer Hugh Downs and band leader Jose Melis, a former army buddy. Familiar faces who appeared many times with Jack included Dody Goodman, Betty Johnson, Elsa Maxwell, Alexander King, Genevieve, Jack Douglas; and wife Reiko, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hans Conreid, Peggy Cass, Cliff (Charley Weaver) Arquette, and Jonathan Winters.
Hugh Downs substituted for Jack Paar 79 times, more than any other substitute host. There were 20 different substitute hosts for Paar over the period of the series run. Joey Bishop substituted for Paar 31 times. Arlene Francis, 30 times, Jonathan Winters, 26 times, Orson Bean, 21 times and Johnny Carson 15 times. All together there were 243 broadcasts which had substitute hosts filling in for Paar during Jack Paar's TONIGHT SHOW tenure. The title of the late night broadcast changed to THE JACK PAAR SHOW which took effect on February 3, 1958. The first video-taped broadcast aired on January 5, 1959. The final LIVE broadcast aired on July 3, 1959. "Best of Paar " Re-runs began on July 10,1959. Beginning July 20, 1959 Jack Paar began taking off Monday nights & guest hosts would substitute for him (approximately on alternate Mondays). The first color broadcast aired on September 19, 1960.
Theme music, "Everything is Coming Up Roses" was first used beginning in the Fall of 1959.
Location broadcast telecasts of the program telecast away from the Hudson Theater in New York City occurred 14 times during this series run.
Jan. 13-17, 1958 Miami Beach, Florida
July 28, 1958 Havana, Cuba
Nov. 3-21, 1958 Hollywood, California
March 2-20, 1959 Hollywood, California
Nov. 10-12, 1959 Nassau, Bahamas (Video Tape)
Nov. 30- Dec. 10, 1959 Hollywood, California
March 28-April 1, 1960 London, England (Video Tape)
Nov.9-11, 1960 Hawaii (Video Tape) - b&w
Nov.14-24, 1960 Hollywood, California
March 21-24, 1961 London, England (Video Tape)
Sept. 12-14, 1961 West Berlin (Video Tape)
Nov. 14-17, 1961 Hollywood, California (Tape)
Nov. 21-24, 1961 Hollywood, California (Tape)
March 13-16, 1962 London, England (Video Tape)
OBSERVATION: Listening to the few extant audio air check COMPLETE JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOW broadcasts, as originally televised, AND RECORDED DIRECT LINE RESULTING IN PRISTINE PLAYBACK SOUND, retains the essence and specialty which Jack Paar was able to convey as host of his late night talk show. He set the standard for how the TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JACK PAAR format evolved, including introducing the standard monologue at the beginning of every show, which continues to evolve to this day...however, sans the whit, charm, warmth, ease, unpredictability, vulnerability, pace and controversy which Paar brought to TV audiences at night. Jack Paar was stellar, and he is sorely missed by most Baby Boomers who remember watching him in real time.
Mostly forgotten by todays' younger audiences Jack Paar needs to be re-evaluated at length to place him royally as one of the most, if not the most, important LATE NIGHT HOSTS IN THE HISTORY OF LATE NIGHT TELEVISION.
Interestingly, current documentaries examining the history of Late Night television, including the current CNN 6 hours retrospective on the subject THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT (2021), relegates only 15 minutes of screen time to Jack Paar's contributions as one of many late night hosts.
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