The 1.5 Hour Shows
On the weekend, Antenna TV has been showing episodes that are long - one hour and a half. I'm pretty sure they're always from the 1970s. I've found them to be much more fascinating than the regular, hour-long episodes aired during the week. You've really got to invest the time to watch the whole episode. The viewer can get an idea of the great effort Johnny went to in order to keep the guests and audience comfortable and entertained. I've noticed that these episodes also contain more examples of jokes "bombing" - or getting a very lackluster reaction from the crowd, which is one of my favorite parts of the show. Johnny's deadpan look to the camera is always funny!
The guests of these long shows are more varied and interesting, too. In most cases, you'll have an actor/actress, comedian, author, animal expert, and maybe an athlete, kid genius, or inventor. The talent coordinator for the show really selected a good mix of people. The depth of conversation with some of these guests is truly rewarding. Johnny will bring up great works of art, literature, or film and make excellent points. When was the last time a modern late night host brought up the Surrealistic art movement of the 1920s and discussed it intelligently with an actor of actress?!
When Johnny says goodnight and makes small talk with Ed and the guests at the very end, I feel like I've spent time with friends and I'm sad to see that it's time to go! I usually shuffle off to bed laughing at one of Carnac's lines!