Bob and Ray On The Bicentennial

Here’s the audio from a Bob and Ray appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from 1976 – rescued from an old TDK audiocassette in my archive. It features:

- The historian for the Democratic party (a wonderful switch on the Komodo Dragon Expert routine)
- Wally Ballou on the Bicentennial civic project at Lost Canyon, Utah (a truly great sketch).

You can hear, as always, Carson laughing in the background… and the Tonight Show audience loves it! 11m

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Michael Iceberg on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson

Michael Iceberg played his “Iceberg Machine” (synthesizers of all varieties, tweaked, customized, and modded) at Disneyland and at Walt Disney World. Michael was way ahead of the curve, producing sounds no one else was getting in the early 1980’s. Couple these sounds with Michael’s immense musical talent and wacky stage persona, and you’ve got the makings of an E-ticket park attraction. The Tomorrowland Terrace was huge, yet there was nary an empty seat when Michael was playing.

The Disney Channel created a special showcasing Michael Iceberg at the park, and you can find that on YouTube. This great performance comes from “The Tonight Show” just after the opening of Epcot, which should be celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary at the moment, but hasn’t really done much to mark the milestone. A 3/4″ U-Matic video of Iceberg’s Carson appearance survived in my collection – and here it is.

Johnny Carson occasionally had bad nights on his show – when the audience didn’t laugh, guests didn’t talk – everything seemed to go wrong. This happened to be one of those terrible nights, as you’ll hear in Johnny’s introduction. I’m guessing that Michael overdid the fog just a little bit, because it’s a l-o-n-g time before we see anything other than the wide shot – one can practically sense the panic in the control room as they waited for the fog to clear so that they could get a medium shot or close-up.

But then, things start going right. It’s remarkable how different Johnny sounds at the conclusion of Michael’s performance – listen at the very end of the clip for his succinct review. Michael has that effect on nearly everybody.

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