PIONEERS OF TELEVISION: Late Night
Airs Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, February 11, 2011
They were the stars of the small screen in the early years of television, and much of the nation came to a halt whenever their shows aired. They strolled, sprinted, fought, laughed, cried and loved through worlds that took viewers to places past, present and future. As the originators of these innovative television formats, they provided an essential escape for millions of viewers who eagerly waited to watch them each week.
Merv Griffin also emerges as a key player on the late-night scene. His interview for "Pioneers Of Television" was his last before passing away. Regis Philbin offers revelations about his years as a late-night sidekick (to Joey Bishop). Dick Cavett and Arsenio Hall also discuss their years in the mix, and Sigourney Weaver offers personal details about her father, Pat - the inventor of "Tonight."
The episode is peppered with dozens of never-before-seen clips, including Johnny Carson performing in his early 20s.