JOHNNY CARSON, LEE MARVIN, JUNE, 1980

Johnny Carson, the once and future king of late night talk shows, had Lee Marvin on The Tonight Show as a guest fairly frequently whenever the actor was promoting an upcoming project. In the summer of 1980, he did just that when The Big Red One was about to be released (the clip they show of it is terrific!)

Lee Marvin’s dapper entrance on Johnny Carson’s TONIGHT SHOW gives his customary greeting to Doc Severinsen and the band.

I discovered the entire show was posted on YouTube thanks to frequent blog follower, Shawn Marengo, god bless her. As she aptly pointed out to me, Marvin looked quite dapper in his 3-piece, apparently custom-made suit. May have been one of the handful of suits he purchased for the infamous palimony suit, according to his lawyer, David Kagon.

Screen grab showing Johnny Carson & Lee Marvin discussing THE BIG RED ONE.

Marvin and Carson were good friends, although I don’t know if they ever socialized outside of the show. Not that it matters as they have a very easy report with each other, as shown in the way Marvin subtlety corrects Carson on the pronunciation of the film’s title. They also joke amusingly about WWII reunions with former Marine Colonel Ed McMahon brought into the conversation. Marvin does fib a bit when he says he never goes to such reunions as his first wife gave details of his presence at such reunions to this author in Lee Marvin Point Blank.
Since the show was still in its one and a half hour format, feel free to do as I did and skip over the segment of Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes to get to Lee Marvin at around the 51 minute mark. Ironically, although he probably isn’t aware of it, Marvin’s good friend James Whitmore is in a commercial during his segment to hawk dog food. There’s also a humorous segment with Buck Henry that Marvin sticks around to participate in. Remember when talk show guests used to do that?

Anyway, without further ado, I give you The Tonight Show, circa June 25, 1980. Enjoy!
– Dwayne Epstein

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KCAL9, SANDRA MITCHELL & ME

KCAL9 in the Los Angeles metro area does an afternoon news show and a few years back I was interviewed on it by Sandra Mitchell. Recently, I came across the video of it that was posted on YouTube by a friend from high school, John Escobar. It aired back in 2014 not long after my book, Lee Marvin Point Blank came out.

Opening image from my local news interview.

It seems so strange viewing it all these years later as I weighed so MUCH more then. Sitting it front of a computer screen will do that to you, I guess. Luckily, that is no longer the case, not as much anyway. More to the point I am more physically active and have shed ALL that extra bulk.
Anyway, it was one of the first on-air interviews I did to promote the book and I was surprised to see how little stuttered considering how nervous I was. Sandra Mitchell was a sweetheart and very easy to talk to so that may have had a lot to do with it.
I do remember what a weird experience it was in how it was done. I expected to see a full crew in the studio for the live shot. However, what I encountered when I got to the KCAL9 studio was simply Sandra and several robotic camera cranes. No crew at all to speak of which gave the whole experience a sort of Isaac Asimov effect.

Screen grab of myself and Sandra Mitchell.

It was setup by the p.r. firm my publisher contracted so I was accompanied by the publicist’s partner, Laurel Lambert, and my girlfriend Barbara. Good thing, too, as I had no idea what to expect. So without further ado, from December 24th, 2014, I give you me and Sandra. Thanks again, John!

– Dwayne Epstein

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