Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here's Johnny - online!

The New York Times reports that has gotten an upgrade, and will feature an archive of the 3,500 hours of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" that have recently been digitized.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of that content won't be accessible to the general public -- it is "intended only for media companies that plan to use the clips for commercial purposes," writes the Times' Dave Itzkoff. Web surfers will be able to choose from a selection of clips that "will be updated to reflect current events."

Judging from the initial mix of clips, the site may prove more frustrating than funny to most visitors. There's a snippet of Jay Leno's third appearance on the show -- Johnny announces that the bushy-haired young comedian is about to become a regular on "The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. Show" -- but there's less than a minute of comedy, a few quick gags about killer bees. A 50-second clip from 1973 stars professional horseshoe pitcher Putt Mossman, who tosses his steel projectiles toward a stake planted between the visibly nervous Carson's legs.

Viewers who want a bigger Carson fix will have to pay for it -- there are dozens of DVDs for sale on the site, ranging from "Johnny's Animal Hijinks" to "Carson Country," which features appearances by "Johnny's favorite country stars."

The man behind is Carson Entertainment president Jeff Sotzing, a former "Tonight Show" producer who also happens to be Carson’s nephew.