Thursday, February 09, 2017

What's Up Doc?

Antenna TV offers reruns of the Johnny Carson show. He was at the top for almost thirty years, but when you watch, you can't help notice how styles have changed. Guests take their time with meandering anecdotes, and often the guests don't have anything to plug.

Nowadays, a segment on a talk show is short, and guests have already gone over with the show what stories they'll be telling--and when they tell them, they get to the point fast.

But what surprises me most about the Carson show is how poorly produced it is.  I don't mean less technical dazzle due to less fancy graphics, though there's that.  I mean stuff like missed cues and poorly-placed camera shots.

I recently saw an episode where Johnny interviewed Susie Essman, of all people, back in the late 80s when she was featured on Baby Boom.  She was talking about how her grandmother liked Johnny, but would change his wardrobe.  Johnny started talking about whose wardrobe Essman's grandmother would approve of, and she suggested perhaps Doc Severinsen's, since he takes chances.  And the two spent literally a minute discussed how wild Doc's clothing choices are, and how they're not for Johnny, and how silly Doc looks, and so on.  All during this time, you're waiting for the obvious cut to Doc so you can at least see what he looks like.  But it never comes.

Either the director was asleep (it was late in the show) or they had strict rules about where the camera can go when Johnny is doing interviews.  No matter which, it's all but unimaginable today--the producer, or host, would probably scream at the director for blowing it and make sure it never happens again.


Blogger New England Guy said...

People were more aural then.

7:20 AM, February 10, 2017  

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