Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hooper, Bandit, and Bond

Just watched Burt Reynolds on the Tonight Show. He told the story of how he turned down the role of James Bond. For real! Burt is perhaps the best talk show guest in history. Sure, he's promoting a movie this time. But Burt was the guy you could always count on to just drop by and chat with Johnny Carson.

These days, the guests are all pre-interviewed. The host delivers the setup line and a stale story is delivered. Repeat three times, show the clip, and go to commercial. No spontaneity.

Other great guests included Sammy Davis, Jr., Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, and Teri Garr.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, Mr. Couch-Jumper Cruise wasn't spontaneous enough?

July 29, 2005 10:14 AM  
Blogger chrisheadrick said...

I'm not a fan of Robin Williams, but--especially in his heyday--he was touted as the ideal talk show guest. No matter how lame the interviewer or show (Chevy Chase, Magic Johnson), Williams would immediately take over.

Tony Randall was always excellent. So was Steve Allen. The age of gentleman raconteurs is over (Sammy Davis being another).

And I must give props to Norm MacDonald, who is the new deconstructivist of interviews. He practices what he's going to say with the host beforehand, then immediately changes it when the cameras roll, sabotaging the interview and adding an edge and spontanaiety sorely lacking today.

July 30, 2005 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can always watch the best of Johnny Carson on DVD.

July 30, 2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger Aaron B. Solem said...

You want spontaneous?

What about Drew Barrymore on David Letterman?

That appearance warped my fragile 10 year old mind.

ABS

July 31, 2005 3:54 AM  

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