This release of The Tonight Show includes three discs with each one spotlighting a different comedian with their unique acts and follow-up chats with Johnny. These never-before-released nine shows span from the '70s through the '90s, and can be viewed with or without their accompanying vintage commercials which include Clairol, Spray & Wash, Pillsbury, Pepto Bismol, K-Mart, NBC shows and so on.
Disc 1 – Steve Martin
The Tonight Show presents the Emmy-winning writer of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Steve Martin first appearing on July 21, 1976, with Jimmy Stewart, Karen Black and inventor spokesman Mel Fuller from the Inventor's Workshop. Steve Martin appears with ukelele in hand and starts his routine with a "happy" song and dance, while actors Jimmy Stewart and Karen Black plug their current movies.
Martin's second appearance is May 21, 1982, with Sylvester Stallone and Johnny is perplexed as to who gets first billing in the introduction since his guests are both huge stars. Sylvester Stallone enters first introducing his 6-year-old son Sage, and then chats with Johnny about his new film Rocky III with Mr. T, then Martin enters with a clip of his current movie, proving the hilarity and craziness of Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.
On December 19, 1991, Steve's third appearance is with the hilarious comedian Cathy Ladman and singer Leon Redbone (Elf). Johnny's talk centers on Christmas in Hollywood and ushers in Martin's appearance. Steve talks about his new movie, Father of the Bride, and, in particular, the amazing audition of the 'bride' Kimberly Williams in the movie. Steve mentions that he was told backstage that this appearance may be the last time he's on the show with Johnny because his host will be retiring. Funny lady Cathy Ladman presents Johnny with a retirement gift and extraordinary musician Leon Redbone performs a closing Christmas song.
Disc 2 – Robin Williams
On April 3, 1984, Robin Williams came in with a bang with his creative comedy and free-association riffs. He touched on subjects across the social spectrum, amazing his host with his unpredictable bits and characters leaving Johnny wondering of Williams: "how many people are in there?"
Watching the genius of Robin Williams makes me grieve for the loss of his unbelievable comedic talent. Disc 2 showcases his spontaneous wit and creative imagination as he was appearing to promote his new movie Moscow on the Hudson. He automatically goes into mimicking characters, and then onto his new movie where he plays a Russian saxophone player who defects while in Bloomingdale's. Williams is so funny and quick that if you blink, you'll miss a bit on one of his character sketches.
On January 10, 1991, Williams appears for the second time with the great popular singer Steve Lawrence who sings "I've Got You Under My Skin." Johnny credits Williams with one of the most original creative minds and promotes Robin's new film with Robert De Niro, Awakenings. Talking about Shakespeare, Williams starts characterizing actors playing "Hamlet" – Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Nicholson, and goes into a bit of how an actor feels when he must pretend to be happy when someone else wins the Oscar.
On September 19, 1991, Johnny says 'two crazies' got together to entertain America. That's Williams' third appearance on the show with actor/comedian Jonathan Winters dressed as a Yankee Civil War General still waiting for his Veteran's check. Johnny hails Williams both as a superb actor and great comedian and mentions his new movie The Fisher King where he plays a romantic man with hallucinations who runs like a wild Don Quixote in Manhattan. Williams has just finished Hook, where he plays Peter Pan and talks about the uncomfortable flying harness. Both a good friend of Johnny and Williams, Jonathan muses about some 20 episodes he played on Mork & Mindy with Williams. Winters and Williams carry on their comedy for long stints while Johnny sits rolling with laughter.
Disc 3 – Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy's first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was on January 1, 1982, appearing with actor McLean Stevenson. Murphy performs an outrageously creative monologue that illustrates his breakout rise to stardom with a clip from Saturday Night Live's rendition of The Tonight Show with Murphy imitating Bill Cosby in "Here's Cos."
Eddie Murphy's second appearance on Johnny's show is shared with Mash actor Wayne Rogers and actor/musician Albert Hague. Murphy's monologue starts with a surprisingly outrageous statement and gets the audience's attention with "Shut-Up!" and then goes into an unusual scream therapy. He does a "tasteless" impression of Stevie Wonder followed with his infectious laughter and he admits that when he was in school, he would make anonymous calls causing chaos and school evacuation.
On July 30, 1982, Eddie Murphy made his third appearance at The Tonight Show. Appearing with Murphy is singer Angela Bofill, and top heavyweight boxing contender Randall "Tex" Cobb. Saturday Night Live's Eddie Murphy promotes the film he is currently shooting, 48 Hrs., and discusses his comedy album simply called Eddie Murphy. In his act, Murphy asks the ladies to check out his nice butt, he shares his mother's opinion about his comedy, and also talks about his impressions of Mohammed Ali and Howard Cosell.
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends Featuring Steve Martin, Robin Williams & Eddie Murphy is a great historical comedic DVD for your Tonight Show Collection. These three comedians are unique geniuses who continue the expertise and evolution of American comedy. You will enjoy many hours reminiscing over these performances. This DVD is one of the greats. Of course, there may be flaws in the filming or audio, but the content is remarkable and memorable. Don't miss it!