1987: NBC Airs Special ‘Jack Paar is Alive and Well!’
On this day in 1987, NBC recognized Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show predecessor with the one-hour special, Jack Paar is Alive and Well!Guests included Debbie Reynolds, Jackie Mason and Pat Sajak, and also featured clips from the talk show host’s late night TV years, including footage from the night in 1960 when he famously walked off the show to protest the network censors’ decision to edit out a joke for his use of the word “water closet.”
Paar hosted Tonight Starring Jack Paar (later called The Jack Paar Show) from 1957 to 1962.
“NBC is always after me to be more provocative,” the often unpredictable Paar told TV journalists during a press event to promote the special. “They love me now that I’m senile, you know, but when I was full of hell, they were all scared to death of me.”