TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JACK PAAR, THE
Hugh Downs, Hermione Gingold, Florence Henderson, Genevieve, Max Asnas, Dody Goodman, Al Finelli, Harry Nimmo, Dr. Franklin Loehr
July 29, 1957- March 30,1962.
July 29, 1959, SECOND ANNIVERSARY TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JACK PAAR. Complete, without commercials (87 minutes).
Hugh Downs is heard opening the show,
“The NBC Television Network presents the second anniversary addition of the JACK PAAR SHOW with the
Jose Melies orchestra, conducted by Al Finelli, and yours truly, Hugh Downs. And, tonight, two years later, Jack’s guests are Hermione Gingold, Genevieve, Dody Goodman, Florence Henderson, and Harry Nimmo. And now, celebrating his second anniversary, here he is Jack, what do I hold up?, Paar.”
Jack’s monologue includes statements that when he first went on the air there were only 40 affiliate stations and now there are 138.
He remarks how NBC has been very nice to him, and that he will be “staying around for a while.” Jack relates the long hours…nine hours of programming a week, five nights a week…coming home at 2am. Recently, when Jack came home he tapped his daughter on her shoulder and said, “It’s time to get up” and to go to her own bedroom (she would sleep with Miriam her mother). Next thing Jack knows he hears water running in the bathroom, Randy brushing her teeth, who thought that
her dad meant it was time to get up and go to school.
Florence Henderson sings, “Everything is Coming Up Roses” from the Broadway play, GYPSY. Jack and Hugh converse about second anniversary broadcast moments…Cuba show a year ago, about regulars, including, Oscar Levant, Peggy Cass. Jack Introduces Dody Goodman. They reminisce about first shows, Franklin Pangborn, others. Dody, who with Jack and Hugh do another version fresh satiric version of DRAGNET ( Case of the Missing Cake) which runs five minutes. Genevieve is introduced, who sings in French, and talks about her grateful success because of Jack. Long time friend and Tonight Show panel member, Hermione Gingold and Paar reminisce. Downs reads wires of congratulations from Robert Sarnoff, Robert Kennedy, Virginia Graham, and Marge and Alexander King.
Jack Paar states that “Talking and telling true stories is funnier than any script in the world.” Relates funny story about his dear friend Alex King.
Comedian / dancer Harry Nimmo performs, and talks with Jack at the desk. Jack says that he and Miriam’s next vacation will be in Italy where he has yet to travel.
Introduction of Dr. Franklin Loehr author of “Power of Prayer on Plants.” Jack introduces his dear sweet friend Max Asnas, manager of Stage Delicatessen in New York.
Florence Henderson sings, from GYPSY, “You’ll Never Get Away From Me.” Jack says good night and signs off.
*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, all KINESCOPES (sound quality inferior to originally direct line 1/4" reel to reel home recordings at the time of the broadcast). No COMPLETE intact visual and audio broadcasts survive. There are no extant video taped surviving RECORDINGS of the JACK PAAR TONIGHT SHOW...not even an excerpt.
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 LAST LIVE broadcast was aired 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)
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