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Great Tonight Show From 1980

August 1, 2016

Another guest, in addition to the aforementioned Joan Rivers and Byron Allen on that April 3, 1980 show that aired 36 and a quarter years later last night, was Dick Van Patten.

Always kind and seemingly low key, Mr.Van Patten after marveling at Joan Rivers’ great appearance self deprecating humor, was so energetic, informative and vastly entertaining.

His son Vincent was in the quarterfinals of a reasonably big tennis event and sister Joyce was opening on Broadway all while Van Patten was taping the Tonight Show.

Mr. Van Patten recalled that many of his shows on Broadway were huge success stories, felt he had the record for appearing in the most shows, helped along by the fact he was a child actor and then cited the three shows he was in that closed after one day.

“Have I Got A Girl For You” was one but Mr. Carson and I agree it was the tragic circumstances and coincidence thereof that contributed mightily to the show’s one day only run on Broadway.

The scheduled opening according to Mr. Van Patten was November 22, 1963, of course the day President Kennedy was killed. Postponed two days the show did open (and close) on Sunday November 24th.

That day Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald and talk at the theater was “Ruby, Ruby” and Dick’s character’s name that he unsuccessfully lobbied to change was “Ruby.”

 

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