Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson: The Amazing Criswell

Yes, not all that fresh from Criswell's star turn in Plan 9 From Outer Space, A.K.A. The Magnificent Ambersons of B-movie auteur Edward D. Wood, Junior: a film that manages to be entertaining, incoherent and a textbook case of critic Andrew Sarris' auteur theory.

The amazing one appeared on one of this blogger's all-time favorite television programs, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (note Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog thanks, grovels and genuflects before whoever posted this clip, since television history - thanks to the fact that stations, always looking at that business bottom line, taped over damn near everything to save money - was neither preserved for posterity or posterior).

Alas, it could be argued that Criswell's fortunes did not exactly skyrocket after a stint hobnobbing with Johnny on The Tonight Show. Here is the amazing one's next gig: the introduction to the mind-numbingly inept entry in the "nudie horror" genre Orgy Of The Dead (1965 - screenplay by Ed Wood).

We can only hope that some conscientious film archivist will find, buried inside the same deep, dark cool cave that contains complete, pristine 35mm nitrate prints of Tod Browning's London After Midnight, F.W. Murnau's 4 Devils and Emile Cohl's "The Newlyweds" cartoons, a stack of ultra-rare kinescopes featuring Sid Caesar, Steve Allen and, of course, Ernie Kovacs.

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