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Johnny Carson Tape Found

Tonight Show
Getty Images, photo by Kevin Winter

Heeeeerrrrrreeeeee’sssss Johnny! We would here that phrase from Ed McMahon every weekday at 11:30 pm when it was time for the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Carson was the night-time king of talk shows watched by millions. Some of the clips and shows from the early years of the Tonight Show have been lost and long feared never to be recovered. Most of Carson’s shows from 1962 to 1973 are gone so when a long-lost clip from 1963 turned up it was a shock.

 

The T.V show clip was found in a military storage unit in Riverside, California, where it had been stored for nearly 50 years. The 16mm film reel was sent by NBC studios to the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service for distribution to military facilities around the world. Some reels never made it back to the Studios and went into storage, which is what happened to Carson’s. Jeff Sotzing, Johnny Carsons nephew was given the tape and said he’s really looking forward to adding it to his film collection.

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