#35: The Time He Hosted The Tonight Show
Heeeeeeeeeere’s Arnie! On this day in 1970, former Tonight Show guest Arnold Palmer took over as guest host for the indomitable Johnny Carson, sitting behind one of the most famous desks in television.
Wearing a red sport coat and sitting opposite legendary announcer Ed McMahon—who in Palmer fashion wore a red cardigan—the golfer interviewed Vice President Spiro Agnew and tennis pro Rod Laver, and even ventured into the crowd at one point with bandleader Doc Severinsen. With Vic Damone as the musical guest it seemed a great time was had by all, but Palmer confessed in his book, A Golfer’s Life, “Boy was I nervous… I’d played golf in front of thousands of people and millions at home watching on television, but that was totally different.” Sadly the majority of The Tonight Show episodes from 1962–1972 were taped over, and so footage of the Palmer episode will be hard to find—if it’s out there at all.