David Johansen, then at the height of his fame as Buster Poindexter, made a 1988 appearance on The Tonight Show and charmed the shit out of Johnny Carson and the audience.
Johansen was made for this kind of thing. Perfect timing, perfect delivery, a smooth operator. The Robert Goulet story is hilarious and Carson can’t help but burst out laughing even at the expense of one of his regular guests.
This month marks the 33rd anniversary of Paul McCartney getting busted for 7.7 ounces of pot in Japan. A half pound of pot! What was he planning to do? Have a smoke-in with Godzilla and Gamera?
I was out in New York and I had all this really good grass. We were about to fly to Japan and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything to smoke over there. This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I’d take it with me.
I didn’t try to hide [the pot]. I had just come from America and still had the American attitude that marijuana isn’t that bad. I didn’t realize just how strict the Japanese attitude is.”
Perhaps Paul’s bag of pot wasn’t the real issue with the Japanese. Maybe they just wanted to fuck with the guy who did this:
After spending nine days in jail, McCartney was released on January 25th.
Johnny Carson had a bit of fun at McCartney’s expense in one of his monologues which aired on January 17, 1980.
Groucho Marx “honors” Johnny Carson at his Friars’ Club roast, broadcast on The Kraft Music Hall on October 23, 1968. Six years prior (October 1, 1962), Marx introduced Carson on his very first Tonight Show.
Others there to “honor” the talkshow king were Don Rickles, New York’s then mayor John Lindsay, Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Dick Cavett and host Alan King.
Many videotapes of Johnny Carson’s 1960s episodes were lost in the fire of NBC’s archives, but at least part of Ayn Rand’s first appearance on The Tonight Show (she was on three times over the years, clearly Carson was a fan) has survived and has been posted on YouTube.
Apparently, Carson snubbed his other guests that evening and kept Rand on for the entire 90 minute show. Topics include raising children, religion, the military draft and the Vietnam War.
Remember Paul Williams, the diminutive singer-songwriter (Carpenters, Three Dog Night) who would often appear on 70s talkshows, games shows, on The Love Boat, and in Smokey and the Bandit and The Muppet Show? (Not to mention his greatest role as “Swan” in Brian DePalma’s cult classic Phantom of the Paradise!)
Williams also played “Virgil” the smart orangutan in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Williams wore his make-up for this memorable appearance promoting the film on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1973.