Here’s a clip from “The Johnny Carson Show,” a 1955 series he did long before “The Tonight Show.”
In this sketch, Carson — forever a skeptic — parodies Joseph Dunninger, a guy who did a mind-reader act. Sadly, no one on TV today would go after the contemporary equivalents of Dunninger (e.g. Van Praagh, Browne, Edward, et al).
This weekly Carson series only lasted 39 weeks, and it took him several years to get back on TV with “Who Do You Trust?” before beginning his legendary 30-year stint behind “The Tonight Show” desk. Shout Factory is releasing a 2-disc set of 10 episodes of that series, which comes from the original kinescopes that Joanne Carson (his second wife) has held onto since their divorce in 1971.