Here’s Johnny. The Tonight Show goes digital

Conan, Jay, and Dave are the current masters of late night, but no one will ever rule the night like Johnny Carson did. For everyone who wants to relive some of the fun and carefree humor Carson brought to the tube, their needs can be met by The Ultimate Carson Collection a new three DVD set debuting this week.

The new DVD offers seven hours of highlights, adding new footage to the previous release of a videotape set. Carson fans will be able to revisit comic routines by his Fern character (who made the Slausen Cutoff famous), along with faux psychic Carnac the Magnificent (and the mayonnaise jar kept on Funk & Wagnall’s porch) and superpatriot Floyd R. Turbo (complete with earflaps). Disc one contains “The Best of the 60’s & 70’s”, and “The Best of the 70’s & 80’s”. Disc two holds “The Best of the 80’s & 90’s” and “Johnny Goes Home”. The third disc contains Johnny’s Favorite Episode, The Final Show and The Johnny Carson Story. Each disc will also carry several special features.

The DVDs include script notes – which provide a rundown of guest appearances, commercials and performances. The DVDs also present the show’s history, beginning with Steve Allen, biographies of Carson, sidekick Ed McMahon, bandleader Doc Severinson, and producer Fred de Cordova, who died last month. Other supplements included on the set include black and white film from the early 1960’s featuring Johnny pitching to N.Y. Yankees’ legend, Mickey Mantle at an empty Yankee Stadium, a backstage tour of The Tonight Show in Burbank’s Studio One, magazine covers, “More to Come” art, a tribute to Johnny, “Johnny Goes Home,” and the NBC special following Johnny’s return to his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska.

Priced at $79.99, “The Ultimate Carson Collection” will be available this week.

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