Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Odd Guest Hosts on The Tonight Show

Writing about the Muppets last week reminded me of a rather odd appearance by one of them. The Muppets were guests on THE TONIGHT SHOW from time to time, but back in the days when Johnny Carson had a wide variety of guest hosts, Kermit the Frog actually hosted the entire show one night, doing a monologue, exchanging banter with Ed McMahon, and interviewing guests. I don't recall who else was on, and I wish I did, but I've never forgotten the somewhat surreal sight of Kermit sitting behind Johnny's desk as if he were born to it. (Well, maybe not "born" . . . but you know what I mean.) There are no video clips of this on YouTube or anywhere else that I could find, and if Livia didn't remember it, too, I might think I'd imagined the whole thing.

Which reminds me of another bizarre episode of THE TONIGHT SHOW where Steve Martin guest hosted wearing a giant bunny head. As Martin commented at the time, "Imagine somebody really drunk turning on the TV right now."

Since I don't have a clip from either of those episodes, I leave you with a musical number from Kermit:


pattinase (abbott) said...

What an interesting topic. I am trying to think of some and then remembered I rarely made it up that late.

D.A. Trappert said...

I remember Orson Welles hosting and doing magic tricks rather than a monologue. He isn't as unusual as Kermit, but given that he was a living legend, the fact that he would enjoy guesting on (and hosting) the Tonight Show is interesting.

James Reasoner said...

I remember the episode Orson Welles guest-hosted. Good stuff. Burt Reynolds was also an effective guest host on a couple of occasions. I didn't like it when the show's policy changed and it had a permanent guest host. Of course, the fact that I don't like Joan Rivers or Jay Leno probably had something to do with my reaction to the change.