The Tonight Show (1962—1963)

Photo of Streisand on Tonight Show

Barbra Streisand appeared as a guest:

Streisand sings on Tonight Show

The Tonight Show had several incarnations before Johnny Carson made it the iconic show it is today.

It all began in the early 1960s. Jack Paar was the king of talk television at the time. (Barbra Streisand guested on Jack Paar’s talk show — when Paar was not the host. Because Paar had arranged a short work-week with NBC, Orson Bean was the fill-in host during Barbra’s 1961 appearance.)

Groucho Marx

In 1962, after Paar and NBC clashed and parted ways, several guest hosts took turns helming the show between April and October 1962. Barbra appeared once (August 21, 1962) when Groucho Marx was a temporary host.

Listen to Groucho Marx & Streisand on the player below ...

When Johnny took over on October 1, 1962 it became The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Barbra first appeared with Johnny on October 4, 1962. He was obviously enchanted by Barbra (as most of us were when she first hit the scene!). Of course, like many of the early television shows, the video tapes were erased years ago. Only audio still exists.

January 2, 1963 ad for Tonight Show with Streisand

Click the Play button below to hear Barbra and Johnny talk about empire-waisted dresses, auditions, and Barbra's folding cot:

Streisand on Tonight Show couch

Carson was very supportive of Barbra, who was at the beginning of her career. When Barbra’s first album was released in February 1963, Johnny had her on his show often to help her promote it.

On her last appearance (March 5, 1963), Barbra told Johnny, “I will never come here again.” Listen on the player above.

Unfortunately, Barbra never appeared on Carson’s show again.

Barbra wrote kind things about Carson in her liner notes to 1991’s Just For the Record CD set: “I remember Johnny inviting me back several times and that was nice.”

Johnny Carson came into people’s homes every weeknight on The Tonight Show. His respectful, easy-going style will be missed. Good night, Johnny.

Tonight Show ads, usually with Barbra's name misspelled