TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JACK PAAR, THE
Jack Paar, Hugh Downs, Genevieve, Kay Ballard, Jose Melies, Eleanor Kates, Minnie Guggenheimer
July 29, 1957- March 30,1962.
Genevieve sings a song in French. Jack Paar mentions that only three entertainers have made the cover of TIME magazine, including himself. In a light moment mentions that one time he was arrested for keeping a library book out too long. Also, reflection by Jack how he always wanted to be a comedian. Relates how overjoyed he was when he received first job call to work at the Garden Theater...$3 a night. When he arrived he found no dressing room, no other acts on the bill affair, was told that he would not be expected to tell any jokes.
He was hired to give away live turkeys to the audience.
Other stories of the past by Paar include hosting bingo nights, and working as a comedian at The Knickerbocker Theater. "AN INTERESTING LOW BUDGET LIFE THEN."
Guest, Kay Ballard, from Cleveland Ohio, sings two songs, and then does a stand-up routine in song, "Go Bravely On."
Rare and unusual parody of "DRAGNET" skit with Jack and Hugh Downs investigating the case of the "missing blubber" by a woman living in Alaska, played by Genevieve (reminiscent of similar routine parody of TV hit series, "DRAGNET" done eleven years later on the TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON with Johnny playing the role of Joe Friday.
Guest Minnie Guggenheimer displays her great sense of humor during a conversation with Paar.
*Most of this series does not survive in any broadcast form. Kinescopes were discarded, burned, decomposed...whereabouts unknown. 2" Quadruplex Video Tape was expensive ($300 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.
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 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. "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)
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