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Monday, April 20, 2009

There Are Six Hosts (Kovacs On The Tonight Show)

Over the past few years, The Tonight Show has become a better way to get exposure for your up-and-coming indie band than radio play - somehow, in the time between the "everyone gets backed up by Doc Severinsen" days (Morrissey notwithstanding) and the present day, radio became far more conservative than NBC's 50-plus year old institution. (Steve Allen would not approve, of course - he thought anything more populist than Jazz was an aberration.)

With Conan O'Brien taking over the reins from Jay Leno in a bloodless coup, they've seen fit to put up a "Tonight Show Experience" site celebrating the lineage of hosts for the show over the past fifty-plus years. The site's been up for a while (since it still says it's celebrating fifty years) but with its recent update to include O'Brien, the all-seeing eye of Internet fandom has noticed something missing. Mark Evanier goes into some detail over at his blog, but the gist of the matter is that there's one person - fully given control over the show for two nights a week while Steverino prepped his prime-time show - who's been completely forgotten.

Which, if we were talking about someone who failed utterly in making a mark on history, would be reasonable, but it turns out the host in question is Ernie Kovacs, who is pretty much legendary in our eyes here at Altrok. (And for a more direct link, Kovacs did routines set to the music of Esquivel!, who has worked with Combustible Edison, who we play here at Altrok...and they also like a nice cocktail. Bonus!)

Well, a little controversy never hurt from a publicity standpoint, we suppose, so we echo The Ernie Kovacs Blog's clarion call to go and add your voice to the Tonight Show Experience message board at and let 'em know they should put all the hosts up (even if they just photoshop in Kovacs looking over Steve's shoulder.) If anything, it'd get their kiester in gear trying to find some clips of that permutation of the show; so far, they've only been able to locate about a half-hour of Kovacs' Tonight Show stint, but perhaps if we turn the volume up, it'll be more likely to reach the ears of some itinerant kinescope collector who hasn't had a reason to YouTube his collection...'till now.

And, if you've read this far, you've probably got the time to tune into Altrok Radio today...we might even be playing some Combustible Edison.


Blogger Al Quagliata said...

Fantastic post! Thanks for joining the fight with us.

Al Quagliata
The Ernie Kovacs Blog

12:21 PM, April 22, 2009  

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