1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 5 (USA)
179 x 105 minute episodes
This late-night show by ABC was an attempt to put a dent in the ratings of NBC’s Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson.
While the ABC show followed the same basic format (celebrity interviews), it also featured a rebel host in Les Crane, who tried to run the show the way he wanted – not the way he was told to do.
Les was a capable and entertaining host, but his lack of respect for television tradition did not fare well with viewers or critics and the show was cancelled after a year.
Guests included Connie Stevens, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Muhammad Ali, Pernell Roberts, Rocky Marciano, Brian Epstein, Boris Karloff, Telly Savalas, Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar, Mickey Rooney, Helen Gurley Brown, The Everly Brothers, Cilla Black, Neil Sedaka, Marvin Gaye, The Four Seasons, Sammy Davis Jr., Joan Baez, The Supremes, Chubby Checker and Donna Loren.
The series is also known as The Les Crane Show.
Les Crane died on 13 July 2008, in Greenbrae, California, aged 74.
William B Williams