TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JACK PAAR, THE
Jack Paar, Hugh Downs, Jonathan Winters, Hermione Gingold, Phyllis Diller, Jose Melies, Richie Delamore, Peanuts Taylor, Katzenjammers Steel Band
July 29, 1957- March 30,1962.
The first of three shows broadcast from the British Colonial Hotel located on Nassau Island in the Bahamas. Included are filmed segments shot 'on location' to illustrate life and activities of the resort area.
Hugh Downs opens the show, “THE JACK PAAR SHOW broadcasting tonight from the British Colonial Hotel in beautiful Nassau in the Bahamas..
A thousand miles from Times Square. Jack and all of us are enjoying a holiday in this mid-Atlantic paradise, a warm and friendly British Colony here in the Bahamas.
Holidaying with Jack tonight are Hermione Gingold, Jonathan Winters, Phyllis Diller, Peanuts Taylor, Richie Delamore, Jose Melis with his trio and the New Katzenjammers
Steel Band, and yours truly, Hugh Downs. And now here is, by Jove, Jack.”
Jack Paar monologue. He welcomes everyone. Says that back in the States they are investigating television. Here in Bahamas to spread a little good will in this crown colony.
Jack states that NBC brought 50 people to Nassau to do this show which is seen by 30 million people…one hour forty five minutes…the most unrehearsed show which is part of the charm.
Jack introduces a young boy from Cuba whom he has known since 1943, Jose Melis who performs a number with the new Katzenjammers Steel Band. Paar introduces Sir Rainier and
his wife Lady Arthur. Jack states that this first show from Bermuda is the largest TV show ever broadcast in Nassau. $55,000 for two tape machines, $35,000 each for five TV cameras…crew working four
days and four nights and all a go until a “hum” in the audio was detected and it took six hour to determine that someone dropped a dime in one to the TV cameras. Jack and Hugh converse.
Jack states this is his sixth trip to the Bahamas. Beautiful here, and no income tax. No real estate tax.
Paar introduces guest Hermione Gingold. Jack says he is emotional even when he sees children drawing pictures; he introduces Richie Delamore who sings, “Island in the Sky.”
Jack Paar and Hermione Gingold sing a duet, from GIGI, entitled, “I Remember It Well.”
Jonathan Winters is introduced by Jack who says that he first put Jonathan on television five years ago.
“He is the greatest talent I know.” Johnny does a stand-up routine “The Amateur Show.” Jack, Hugh and Jonathan do a Webster Cigar commercial together, with lots of laughs.
Introduction of Peanuts Taylor, form Nassau, playing his steel drum. Paar and Winters discuss Jonathan’s new book, “Did Anyone Bring an Opener?” which is a picture book of old time movies,
with funny captions created by Winters.
Jack introduces a former housewife, mother of five children and discovered by Jack five years ago…Phyllis Diller, who performs a stand-up routine (plastic surgery).
Jack relates his experiences trying to buy an Island in Nassau. Richard Delamore sings “Hold Em Joe.” Jack says goodnight and states that in December Jet flights will be available to go from the Sates
to Nassau in two and half hours.
*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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