Christmas came early for me this year as I got to talk to Dick Cavett about Groucho Marx. The occasion was the American Masters‘ special “Groucho & Cavett,” premiering December 27 on PBS. Dubbed, “the thinking man’s talk show host,” Cavett emerged as a clear alternative to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show while on ABC from 1969 through 1975.
I kid you not: I was too young to have seen Jack Paar in his prime as host of The Tonight Show. I was born in 1957, the year Paar took over Tonight from Steve Allen and made it his own for the next five years. With the show starting around 11:15 p.m., this was
This week’s episode of brioux.tv the podcast features the creator and original host of the Tonight Show, Steve Allen, plus the man who hosted from 1957 to 1962, Jack Paar. Allen, who died in 2000 at 78, was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1996. Here’s a clip from that event, including some
Bill Maher once said that, “Everybody who ever has done a talk show should pay a royalty to Steve Allen.” Allen would probably have agreed. He was the first host of NBC’s Tonight Show, starting with a local New York version in 1953 and then launching the series nationally in September of 1954. David Letterman,
You can draw a straight line from Mort Sahl to Dave Chappelle. Fearless, contentious, uncompromising and sometimes his own worst enemy. The Montreal native died Oct 26 at his home near San Francisco. He was 94. His rise in the mid- to late- ’50s was so pronounced it seems as if he should be older.
In paying tribute last week to Hugh Downs, the long-time announcer, host and newsman who passed away last week at 99, I forgot to single out another one of his accomplishments: sitcom scene stealer. Fortunately, retro-savvy reader Kevin Vahey weighed in with a link to a classic: Downs getting pulled over in an episode of
It was just like Hugh Downs to pass away right after Carl Reiner. Even at close to 100 years of age, he found a way to go quietly. The broadcaster, who died at home in Arizona July 1 at 99 years of age, was a true TV ironman logging more hours on network television than
“If Jonathan Winters is ever accused of anything, he’s got the perfect alibi,” Jack Paar once told his audience. “He was someone else at the time.” Winters was a wonder on television, unlike any other comedian in that he never told jokes, he just inhabited characters. Not crazy, made up characters either, but astoundingly real,