Thursday, June 15, 2017



THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON: JOHNNY AND FRIENDS FEATURING STEVE MARTIN, ROBIN WILLIAMS & EDDIE MURPHY contains nine new-to retail shows from the '70s, '80s and '90s featuring three of the most loved guests from "The Tonight Show" -- Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy.  Each DVD contains complete, unedited shows -- including vintage commercials -- highlighting some of the most cherished moments from 30 years of "The Tonight Show."
Arguably the best thing that ever happened to young Steve Martin was being temporarily banished as a Tonight Show guest in 1972. Martin was an Emmy-winning writer (The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour) but hadn't worked up quite enough material for himself. Invited back later as a guest host, a more polished Martin clicked.
Original Air Dates: 
  • July 21, 1976: Steve Martin, Jimmy Stewart, Karen Black, and more
  • May 21, 1982: Steve Martin, Sylvester Stallone
  • December 19, 1991: Steve Martin, Cathy Ladman, Leon Redbone 
Robin Williams took pleasure in stumping the host with his utter unpredictability and free-association
riffs. Williams' bits ranged across the social spectrum, bouncing off the latest fads and fashions along with ego-deflating commentary about the day's newsmakers. Johnny could not have been having a better time or been more in awe at the comedic juggernaut.

Original Air Dates:
  • April 3, 1984: Robin Williams, Phyllis Newman
  • January 10, 1991: Robin Williams, Steve Lawrence
  • September 19, 1991: Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters, Park Overall 
Three appearances over a span of seven months in 1982 illustrate Eddie Murphy's vault to superstardom. His debut occurred less than halfway into his first full Saturday Night Live season; by his third appearance, he had become a breakout star, released his Grammy-nominated debut album, and was shooting his first movie.
Original Air Dates: 
  • January 1, 1982: Eddie Murphy, McLean Stevenson
  • February 10, 1982: Eddie Murphy, Wayne Rogers, Albert Hague
  • July 30, 1982: Eddie Murphy, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Angela Bofill 

My Thoughts

One of my earliest memories is of my grandparents watching Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. I used to sneak downstairs and watch from the stairway when I was supposed to be sleeping. When I saw they were releasing the show on DVD, I knew I had to grab one because it brings back so many memories. 

This DVD includes nine of the shows that span the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Each one is on DVD for the very first time. One of the guests is Eddie Murphy, who is one my favorite comedians.  Some of the other guests include Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Leon Redbone, Karen Black, Sylvester Stallone, and many more. Some of these stars have passed away, and it was wonderful seeing them again on the small screen. 

Another fun aspect of this DVD set is that it includes the commercials that originally aired with the show. While today I tend to fast-forward through commercials,  seeing these commercials from back in the day was a lot of fun and a real throwback. 

If you're looking for a blast from the past, this DVD set is the perfect choice. I watched it with my mom, and it was like taking a step back in time. Any fan of Johnny Carson is going to want this set in their collection. The Time Life TONIGHT SHOW sets are available nationally at outlets such as Costco, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart and For Your Entertainment.