James Stewart came on the show to promote his latest film with John Wayne, The Shootist (1976). Stewart chatted with Johnny about asking Cecil B. DeMille if he could play a clown in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and how Frank Capra convinced him to make It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) as his first film after getting out of the service in World War II.
Jack Lemmon, publicizing the soon-to-be-released The China Syndrome (1979), told Johnny about getting laughs as a child, when he was a last-minute substitute in a school play, and related a very poignant story about filming The Apartment (1960) with legendary director, Billy Wilder.
At the time that she made her first appearance on the show during the run of Norma Rae (1979), Sally Field was dating Burt Reynolds, who had been Johnny’s guest several times. To help prepare her, Reynolds gave her some tips…and a can of whipped cream.
A very young and very nervous Diane Keaton appeared on the show, where she talked about her hair, her shyness, her pantsuit, growing up in Southern California, and why she didn’t want her parents to sit in the audience.
Fresh off her success in Brian DePalma’s Dressed to Kill (1980), Dickinson talked about making the film, including the controversial shower scene, and then asked Johnny about his sexual fantasies.
Sammy Davis, Jr. came on the show wearing a tomato red suit and pink shirt, with matching red platform boots and gold medallion – the costume he wore in the film Poor Devil (1973) and spoke with Johnny about his love for gadgets, including having a house full of technology that didn’t always work.
Tuesday, March 11 at 8:00 PM (ET)
Publicizing his World Series television special, comedy legend Bob Hope visited Johnny, and the conversation turned to how Johnny had “done more for birth control than anybody,” and Bob’s surprise that women like to watch male strippers.
Bing Crosby, one of the most popular recording artists of the 20th century, came on the show and talked with Johnny about his career – from working as a singer with Gus Arnheim, to his long-time friend, Bob Hope, and how an encounter with a fan made him decide to go back to performing.
Tony Randall was always a sharp-witted guest, and his appearance was no exception. In it, he kissed Ed McMahon, teased Johnny mercilessly, spoke about getting married at a young age to his first wife, why he was never sure if she understood what he did for a living and why he never wanted her to see him perform.
The always controversial Truman Capote gave a frank and unfiltered interview with Johnny, during which he discussed why he felt that actors like Marlon Brando were stupid, what it was like to watch the execution of the two men he wrote about in his book In Cold Blood , and the reason why he never voted.
Gregory Peck spoke about renting Johnny’s house in Las Vegas while he was making a Western, and how much money he lost in the three slot machines Johnny had in the house, his success in The Omen (1976), going to acting school with Tony Randall, Eli Wallach and Efrem Zimbalist and wooing his wife, Veronique.
Bacall talked to Johnny about her autobiography By Myself , ditching school to watch Bette Davis movies when she was a child, her marriage to Humphrey Bogart, and which superstar didn’t want her to write about their romantic relationship.
Tuesday, March 18 at 8:00 PM (ET)
In her first appearance on the show, Julie Andrews talks about life as a child performer in vaudeville, working with her husband, Blake Edwards, and appearing topless in SOB (1981)
Dudley Moore had just made a splash in Foul Play (1978) and was about to appear in 10 (1979) when he appeared on the show. Moore was on a comic tear, riffing on everything from music to his embarrassment at doing a nude scene to the difference between American and English sense of humor.
Sean Connery appeared with co-star Michael Caine to promote their film The Man Who Would Be King , during which they talked about many things, including Connery getting drunk with Johnny at a party, the hazards of jet lag, and why the James Bond films were so difficult to make.
Rocky (1976) made Sylvester Stallone a star, but that stardom was brand new when he appeared on the show in 1976. He spoke about his many struggles to get the film made and what actors the studio wanted to play Rocky instead of him.
Schwarzenegger appeared on the show to promote his new film Conan the Barbarian (1982) and talked about having to tone down his muscles so as to appear more realistic in the film, and the hazards of shooting the picture, which included sword-fighting lessons and being attacked by wolves.
During the run of his television show, Mr. President , George C. Scott came on with Johnny and spoke about trying to quit smoking, whether he preferred working in the theater, films or television, and then held the audience spell-bound by reciting from memory a monologue from The Lady’s Not for Burning .
Gene Kelly talked about being teased over his real name of “Eugene,” becoming a dancer, what it was like working with Fred Astaire and the inevitable comparisons between them, and his new film, That’s Entertainment, 2 (1976).
Tuesday, March 25 at 8:00 PM (ET)
Johnny admitted that he could always tell when his son, Timmy, was watching I Love Lucy because he could hear his “maniacal laughter.” Lucy spoke about having generations of fans, her nervousness about being on Johnny’s show, and brought him what may be the most unusual gift he’s ever received from a guest.
The night before Carol Burnett appeared on the show, she and Johnny had both attended a party at James Stewart’s anniversary party. Burnett reminisced about the party, marveling about being able to meet the stars she idolized as a child.
Candice Bergen joined Johnny to discuss her autobiography, Knock Wood , her childhood in Hollywood as the daughter of Edgar Bergen, her happy marriage to Louis Malle and the mistakes she made along the way.
The Get Smart star came on to discuss his latest film The Nude Bomb (1980), but the conversation soon turned to how his “Maxwell Smart” voice became contagious on the set so that other actors began to talk just like him, the time that Adams found himself on the same flight as Johnny, and what it was like to work with Mae West while he was stoned.
Johnny’s comedy idol, Jack Benny, came on the show at the age of 79, fresh off of a month-long trip to England, where toured in live shows. Jack talked about how his wife, Mary Livingstone made him bring her hairdresser and ended up spending all the money he made on the tour while shopping in Paris, which of his films he was known for in France, and what it’s like to not be recognized on the street.
Johnny’s old boss, comedian Red Skelton, came on the show. After sixty years in show business, he was still appearing before college audiences. Skelton talked about the unusual way he got exercise, why his teachers never believed what his real middle name was, how the FBI thought a phony name was real, and why he always carried an unlit cigar as a prop.