Jack Paar: Smart Television (2003)

TV Movie   |  Documentary, Comedy

PBS documentary examining the work of Jack Paar.

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David Leaf , John Scheinfeld


David Leaf, John Scheinfeld

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20 August 2006 | KLH
| The only problem is that it's too short
An interview with Fidel Castro in 1960. Richard Nixon plays his own piano composition in 1961. Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) in 1963 declares that he will be champion of the world in 1964 (and later does so)--and then recites a poem about himself with Liberace providing musical accompaniment. Robert Kennedy's first television appearance after his brother's assassination. Johnathan Winters and Woody Allen being brilliant, early in their careers.

Paar, for those who need the history, was the original host of what became The Tonight Show. He may have been the best. At the least, this documentary makes it clear that he could give Carson a run for his money. (Carson played more for laughs with a human undertone; Paar goes for the human and gets the laughs.) The clips just leave you wanting more, and wishing that Jay Leno had half the brain or a quarter the courage that Paar does.

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Documentary | Comedy


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