RICKLES LAYS SINATRA (ER...OUT...)
What the hell was Frank Sinatra doing guest-hosting the Tonight Show on some forgotten week in 1977? Was this a common occurrence that somehow eluded me or just a freak occurrence that somehow eluded Sinatra's good judgement? He looks as comfortable behind a desk acting as a host as your cousin who sings at parties when inebriated might look in front of a crowd at Radio City. Things collapse entirely when Don Rickles appears and annihilates whatever order may have previously existed. Since the above clip is only the Rickles segment I have no idea how entertaining the earlier part of the show was, but the guests were George Burns, Angie Dickenson and Carroll O'Conner (who sits nervously through Rickles shtick, looking like a student who hopes the teacher won't call on him). What a nice old convention of the classic talk-show era it was to keep all the guests on the stage as the evening progressed. It speaks to the end of the community spirit in old show-biz land, the dying days of Hollywood as an industry town. You get the feeling that Sinatra might have taken them all out to Dan Tana's after the show. Or at least Angie...
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 9:42 AM