Tuesday, October 30, 2012
FRIDAY NIGHT STARLIGHT - PAAR & ALLEN - THE JACK PAAR SHOW - NBC-TV - CIRCA DEC.14, 1962
Call it a a near-cosmic confluence of comic stars in the night.
On a December night in 1962, THE JACK PAAR SHOW,the presumed centerpiece of NBC-TV's Friday night,Prime Time Schedule was on the air, LIVE and in LIVING COLOR from 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Erudite, affable and volatile Jack Paar had just abdicated his throne as the King of late night television, when he left THE TONIGHT SHOW to host a weekly comedy , variety and talk program for NBC.
In response the network installed a another career-broadcaster and stand-up comedian, Johnny Carson, as the new Prince of Post-Prime Time TV.
Paar reportedly relished the change.
A visceral performer who wore his thread-bare emotions on his well-tailored sleeves, Paar was tired of delivering five shows per week,over 12 months. He liked the idea of focusing on sixty minutes of high voltage, thought-provoking, laugh-inducing television, and to do it just 26 weeks a year.
Paar was able to introduce the most interesting people on the planet to his audience and along the way brought some of the funniest performers of the Camelot-era to his stage.
The incomparable Jonathan Winters improvised without limits. Tom Lehrer waxed satirically in song about the state of humanity.America was introduced to the wholesome,observational comedy of a young Temple University grad, Bill Cosby.
But on this night, an insecure intellectual, who was making a national name and his comic bones working some of the country's hippest nightspots, was making a belated appearance on the show.
Long before he was acclaimed by cinemaphiles as an auteur, Woody Allen was a stand-up comedian.
A guest shot on the JACK PAAR SHOW was a career aspiration for Allen.
As often happens on a LIVE show, the clock moves faster than the guests and the 27 year old, Allen had been bumped from the program three times in three weeks.
Paar, who exuded empathy, felt so bad that he yielded the minutes allocated for his weekly monologue to the hip, young comedian.
Here, from the STANDAPARTCOMEDY YOU TUBE site, is Woody Allen's debut on THE JACK PAAR SHOW.