Turner Classic Movies has licensed 50 Johnny Carson interviews with Hollywood films stars and others, culled from his three decades atop the Tonight show.
The Carson on TCM showcase will premiere in summer 2012.
Interview subjects include Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Bette Davis, Drew Barrymore (who co-hosts TCM’s Essentials with Robert Osborne) Doris Day, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart (a Carson favorite), and Elizabeth Taylor. along with the veritable host of others.
It is not the first time TCM has tapped a talked to flesh out its views of Hollywood’s stars. In 2006, it licensed some film interviews from the Dick Cavett Show, including with Alfred Hitchcock and Groucho Marx (a Cavett favorite).
One of Carson’s strengths as an interviewer was that he was clearly a big fan of many of the Hollywood greats, and while they would usually treat him as an equal, given his TV star billing, he always seemed slightly deferential, which made it easier for the audience to identify with him as one of them, rather than simply watching two stars talking.