Friday, January 15, 2010
WHEN AMERICANS STARTED LOSING SLEEP OVER TV - STEVE ALLEN EXPLAINS HOW THE TONIGHT SHOW WAS LAUNCHED - NBC-TV - CIRCA SEPTEMBER 27,1954
There's a reason storm clouds seem to be gathered over that iconic, art deco building which looms over New York City's Rockefeller Plaza.There's nothing funny about recent events in the NBC executive suite at 30ROCK. That's because the best drama on television is actually about television and it unfolds every weeknight night on The Peacock Network. But there's no reason to celebrate, even if America is consumed with the backstage, reality show that, seen in the harsh light of TMZ.com,E!,EXTRA or ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, is dark and truly surreal.
It's the BATTLE OF THE NETWORK TALK SHOW HOSTS, and the stakes are enormous ,with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, plus rarefied careers and an American broadcast instituion in the balance.
For over six decades, no network nor syndicated competitor could begin to unseat NBC-TV's, venerable, pajama party,THE TONIGHT SHOW. Now, the legendary and lucrative,late night, talk franchise is being shaken to its core by an internal insurrection among the court jesters at the Peacock's Palace and a rebellion among NBC affiliates.
While Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and NBC-Universal Boss, Jeff Zucker act out an acrid ,angry episode of SURVIVOR:BURBANK,here at KINESCOPE HD , we want to wash away the blood and tears in the warm, flickering glow of video history.
Now, that comely, Clark Kent look-alike,depicted above, in the company of leaping ladies and lovable llamas is a verifiable, video visionary who talked softly and did a lot of schtick. That's Steve Allen, the inventor of tv talk in the night, as we still know it , today.
Here, posted below, is a fascinating excerpt from THE ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION interview with TONIGHT'S first host, the erudite and engaging Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen.
If you don't know the name, Allen was an innovator in television comedy, a prolific songwriter, a popular author and a gifted thinker who hosted the late night, laugh-fest,until January 25, 1957.You can find the entire interview at this URL:
As a bonus,posted below,here are the opening moments of TONIGHT, as it debuted on the NBC-TV Network,September 27,1954.Enjoy!!!!!!