Can We Talk?

(Above: Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson on ‘The Tonight Show’)

TVS TV Networks has launched the TVS Classic Talk Show Channel, promising to “cover the top TV talk shows and their hosts” from the medium’s first 40 years (1948-1987).

Currently, the channel includes 12 episodes of That Show, a syndicated 1968 talker hosted by Joan Rivers.

Here’s an episode featuring Rivers’ mentor, The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson, nearly 20 years before their friendship exploded. The show’s subject is nudism!

Speaking of Carson, the Classic Talk Show Channel includes two episodes of The Johnny Carson Show, which is not The Tonight Show but a 1955-1956 CBS variety series.

You’ll also find an episode of the NBC primetime game show Play Your Hunch (1960-1962), hosted by Merv Griffin, and two infomercials with Larry King.

We were surprised at first to find a 1954 episode of NBC’s This is Your Life. In this series, host Ralph Edwards would surprise guests and then, per Wikipedia, “take them through a retrospective of their lives in front of an audience, including appearances by colleagues, friends, and family.” Okay, we could see how that could be termed a talk show. Makes as much sense, at least, as Wikipedia calling it a “reality documentary” series!

So here’s the Classic Talk Show Channel’s episode of This Is Your Life, featuring silent comedy producing great Mack Sennett as the surprised guest:

According to TVS, the Classic Talk Show Channel will soon add shows with Phil Donohue, Mike Douglas, Joey Bishop, Les Crane, Mike Wallace, Dick Cavett, David Brenner and others.

You can find the TVS Classic Talk Show Channel on Dailymotion.


About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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