Sunday, November 6, 2011
WHEN JOKERS WERE KINGS - GROUCHO ROASTS CARSON - KRAFT MUSIC HALL - NBC-TV - CIRCA OCTOBER 23, 1968
In October of 1968, there was a confluence of comedy stars in NBC's cavernous,Brooklyn, New York studios.
That's when and where THE PEACOCK NETWORK'S durable and docile KRAFT MUSIC HALL attempted to bring the ribald fun of a Friar's Club roast to television.
Producers of the lavish, long-running,variety show had decided to fete the King of Late Night Television, Johnny Carson, in a family-friendly version of the profanity-laced, showbiz tributes.
The Friar's Club is a fraternity of entertainers whose boisterous bacchanals were always off-color and off the record.
The dais was adorned with some of the biggest names in comedy. Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Flip Wilson ,Don Rickles , Dick Cavett, New York Mayor,John V. Lindsay, and Carson's straight man for all seasons,Philadelphia's own, Ed McMahon were among the lambasting luminaries. Stand-up specialist Alan King served as roast-master.
But, one comic contributor was in a class above and beyond all others. The iconic Groucho Marx brought a level of acerbic insult that yielded thunderous laughs.Marx had been Carson's first guest on the first TONIGHT SHOW he hosted in 1962. But Marx never let friendship stand-in the way of a punch-line.
Here , from the LAUGHVIDS YOU TUBE site, is Groucho Marx withering tribute to Johnny Carson on the October 23rd, 1968 episode of THE KRAFT MUSIC HALL.Enjoy!!!!