Twenty-Five Years Ago today
It was Twenty-Five Years ago that Johnny Carson would host his last two shows of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Famously in the meeting after the penultimate show on May 21st, 1992, Producers Peter Lassally, Jeff Sotzing and Johnny questioned how they'd be able to top that evenings show. It was just that good. The Penultimate show was the last show with guests, and the last two guests were Robin Williams and Bette Midler, both at the peak of their fame and careers. Bette Midler won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program with her performance of "One More for My Baby" that night. She also sang a duet with Johnny of "Here's That Rainy Day", Johnny's favorite song, as well as "You Made Me Watch You" with lyrics that she'd written specifically for the show with piano player Marc Shaiman.
It was truly the end of an era, we would never see another show just like this in our lifetimes and while most of America realized that something special was happening, twenty-five years later we realize we were all watching a part of history in the making.
If you'd like to relive some of that history, I highly recommend listening to the Carson Podcast with Marc Shaiman (mentioned above) discussing the preparation and performance of the penultimate show with Bette Midler. Here's a link.
And then dust off your copy of The Ultimate Collection and turn on Disc 3. Happy Anniversary!