Sunday, October 21, 2007

John And Paul Meet Joe

Sure looks like an odd assemblage, doesn't it? That's John Lennon and Paul McCartney guesting on THE TONIGHT SHOW at the height of the Beatles' popularity--May 14, 1968, to be exact. Johnny Carson was off that night, and the photo shows sportscaster (and former major league catcher) Joe Garagiola guest-hosting with actress Tallulah Bankhead on his left and Ed McMahon on the edge of the couch. Amazingly and tragically, this episode no longer exists, as NBC destroyed almost all of the early TONIGHT SHOWS, as well as its game shows, other talk shows and just about every other videotaped shows from the time period.

Thankfully, some photos and a transcript exists of the interview, which is presented here. Garagiola, who had a good sense of humor, comes across as something of a clueless though amiable square, but he probably had a good time with Paul and John, who are as irreverent as always. It would have been fascinating to see how they would have interacted with Carson, a master of televised conversation.

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