Tuesday, February 15, 2022

This Day in TV History: Tragedy and Homecoming on NBC

40 years ago tonight, NBC brought us a couple of old reliables. The new special of the evening, Johnny Goes Home at 10:00 P/M. EST, featured Tonight Show host Johnny Carson going to his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska, where he takes viewers on a tour of his hold haunts and experiences a surprise 56th birthday party!

Now, I haven't seen this special yet, but part of me thinks, "Man, Johnny must have hated that!" Yet the official description of the program describes it as, "something Johnny wanted to do for a long time." Well, if he says so! He certainly wouldn't have done it if he didn't, not at that point in his career.

Before that special, it's a two-hour Little House on the Prairie at 8:00, one that illustrates the almost comical level of misfortune that hit these characters. In "Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow (Part 1)," according to Ultimate70s, "As Caroline awaits the arrival of her first born, the marriage between Laura and Almonzo faces its first stern test when he falls seriously ill with diphtheria and later suffers a crippling stroke while trying to get his crops in during a hailstorm."

Wow, diphtheria, stroke, hailstorm--that's almost a whole row of Little House Tragedy Bingo! I hope Johnny Carson finds more success in his return to the heartland. And good luck to Caroline with that whole first-born thing, but I know on Little House we can't take anything for granted.

It's business as usual on CBS this Monday night, with its comedy lineup of Mr. Merlin, Private Benjamin, MASH, and House Calls--wow, one of those shows sure stands out, doesn't it--preceding a Lou Grant. ABC showed That's Incredible! and The Jerk.

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