Johnny Carson will mark his two-year anniversary since leaving “The Tonight Show” with an exclusive four-volume video collection that will hit stores May 27 , courtesy of Buena Vista Home Video.
“Johnny Carson: His Favorite Moments From ‘The Tonight Show’ ” was assembled by Carson and former “Tonight” producer Jeff Sotzing, featuring selected highlights cut across the following lines: “’60s & ’70s: Heeere’s Johnny!”; “’70 s & ’80s: The Master of Laughs!”; “’80s and ’90s: The King of Late Night!” and “The Final Show: America Says Farewell!” which features the high-rated final episode in its entirety.
The penultimate show with Bette Midler and Robin Williams will be incorporated into the ’80s-’90s tape.
Buena Vista Home Video president Ann Daly stressed that these will be the only “Tonight Show” tapes released on video and will be launched with a major sell-through campaign akin to that of the studio’s top animated releases. Asked about projected sales levels, the exec suggested Disney saw the property as a hit release, saying, “Who knows how high is up?”
The final episode — which garnered more than a 60 share when it was broadcast on May 22, 1992 — is available only as part of the four-volume boxed set, which will be priced at $ 59.99. The first three tapes will also be sold individually for $ 14.99 each. All the tapes run between 45 and 62 minutes.
Carson Production Group took control of the show in 1981, so NBC, which had a role in its production prior to that time, also has a shared interest in material prior to that date.
Sotzing is exec producer on the project, which will include clips that have become familiar through “Tonight Show” anniversary shows as well as less-recognized material, plus behind-the-scenes footage, sketches and early appearances by several well-known comics.