Now available on DVD from Time Life is another amazing three-disc collection from a television late-night icon with “The Tonight Show: Johnny and Friends.”

There is something amazing about remembering the phrase, “Heeeeeere’s Johnny” every evening coming from America’s television sets. Settling down for the night Johnny Carson became a staple of entertainment that made us all laugh before falling asleep.

That’s just a fraction of what most people know about this late night star. For instance, Carson was a Nebraskan boy who loved magic tricks and created The Great Carson quickly earning a few dollars for it. He also was a military man joining the U.S. Navy and serving as a communications officer.

After his service, Carson returned to Nebraska going off to college receiving his BA in radio and speech and, here is a surprise, minored in physics! He began his broadcasting career in 1950 and continued to move up with television spots on “To Tell the Truth,” “Who Do You Trust?” and met Ed McMahon.

By 1962 after Jack Paar’s departure, NBC finally signed Carson and once the show took off, McMahon joined his partner in crime. From then on characters and sketches included Art Fern, Carnac the Magnificent, Floyd R. Turbo, Aunt Blabby, El Mouldo and The Maharishi just to name a few.

Both New York and Hollywood sent Carson as many stars as there were in the sky to the show. From Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Richard Pryor, Paul McCartney, Muhammad Ali, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Burt Reynolds, Don Rickles, Charlton Heston, Jerry Lewis, Sean Connery and so many, many more filled each evening’s time slot. With this collection you can add Steve Marin, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy. The comedy was never ending!

Carson spent 30 years hosting “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and received Emmy Awards and in 1987 was inducted to the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 1992 Carson would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom only to be followed up by the Kennedy Center Honor.

Time Life has brought this never before released anywhere classic collection of the series to fans. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit

This 3-disc set of Johnny Carson and friends Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy celebrates amazing comedy with side-splitting laughs for three of my own personal favorite funny men.

On Disc 1 is one “wild and crazy guy” with Steve Martin who, as a young comic, almost didn’t get another chance at “The Tonight Show.” Once he polished his act, Martin came back several times to bring audiences serious laughter that continued on to his film career.

Disc 2 brings one of the most beloved comics who made his mark in comedy, television and film. Robin Williams was unpredictable and off-the-cuff fun brought fans quickly to see what he would do next. Sitting across from Carson was always an experience to witness with results that had me laughing to tears.

Finally, Disc 3 brings Eddie Murphy to the forefront on Carson’s couch and to our late night. His break out in “Saturday Night Live” meant that being on the show gave us all the opportunity to hear what laughs were to come and what project he was working on next.

These are three stellar comics sitting on the sofa of an icon and now, with the wonderful help of Time Life, we get the chance to revisit their early years and remember how they made us laugh. Sharing each disc with family and friends is a great way to step into a time machine while still introducing the younger generation to some of the most side-splitting comics ever.

In this 499 minute 3-disc set from time life is nine full shows that include the commercials of the time. Seriously, the commercials added to the laughs but at the same time aged me a bit. All in great fun!

In the end – prepare for greatness!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.