Retro Late Night: Steve Martin Hosts the Tonight Show

70s,TV 7 October 2010 | Comments Off

When I was a kid in the ’80s, the regular guest host for The Tonight Show was Joan Rivers.  After she and Johnny had their well-publicized falling out in 1986, Jay Leno got the gig and he is still clinging like grim death to the job.  But back in the ’70s, there was no regular stand-in for Johnny.  Lots of talented people got a chance to sit behind the desk and banter with Ed, including Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis, Joey Bishop, David Letterman, Bob Newhart, and David Brenner.  While surfing YouTube tonight I ran across this clip from 1978 with Steve Martin that I think you might like:

Steve seems remarkable at ease in the role of host.  Some highlights:

*Steve plugging the release of A Wild and Crazy Guy (if you don’t own this record, do yourself a favor and go buy it)
*Burt Reynolds imitating Steve and breaking into his famous high-pitched laugh
*Steve’s vest rigged with dynamite, to ensure the audience laughs at his jokes

    The complete show looks to be available on YouTube.  Goodnight guys.

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