Watching old episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from the 1970s and ’80s is like a trip down celebrity lane, while also a bit of culture shock.
Did we really dress like that?
The hair and sideburns, did we really look like that?
And did Johnny just discreetly take a puff of a cigarette and put it in an ash tray off camera while he blew the smoke all over a guest?
All this week, Market Share is looking at how the diginets, subchannels, multicasts or dot-twos, those secondary networks, market their classic TV shows with often wildly inventive, creative and hilarious promos to create awareness and drive viewership.
Private eye capers, cop shows, sitcoms, game shows, talk shows, old films, all being enjoyed by an audience who perhaps watched them way back in the day and some creating a new audience of fans not yet born when they aired originally.
History will repeat itself when most of the country’s PBS stations air Motown 25, Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET as part of its Black History Month celebrations.
This legendary special last aired on NBC in 1983 as Motown 25: Yesterday • Today • Forever? and it was where Michael Jackson first unveiled his sensational moonwalk, which everybody has been talking about since.
Taped before a live audience at California’s Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and hosted by legendary comedian Richard Pryor, virtually every Motown artist performs including Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Miracles, The Temptations and The Four Tops.
This concert won an Emmy for Best Variety Program and a George Foster Peabody Award.
Check your local PBS station for times and dates as the special is expected to air often over the next month.
(Motown saved my life. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school back in the 1960s. And every weekend, my friends and I would hit every dance in the area to listen to Motown music and be with girls. It was the only time we could get close to girls and show them some moves. Without Motown, I probably would have ended up a wallflower too scared to talk to girls, let alone dance with them. You can bet I’ll have my dancing shoes on and the TV turned up loud this Saturday night at 8. It’ll be like old times.)