Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Joey Bishop Show

Between 1967-69, Joey Bishop hosted a 90-minute talk show on ABC, competing with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on NBC.

Despite much publicity, and the occasional visit from fellow "Rat Pack" guests like Sammy Davis, Jr, Peter Lawford and Dean Martin (but never Frank Sinatra, interestingly enough) - Bishop flopped against Carson, and was replaced by Dick Cavett in 1969. (Who also flopped, as did Merv Griffin - who ran a competing show on CBS).

Bishop's sidekick was Regis Philbin. Yes, that Regis Philbin (above, left) - making his first big splash on national television. Regis actually walked off the show one night, in response to negative reviews from critics - citing that the network was against the idea of hiring him in the first place. (This was one of the only episodes to top Carson in the ratings.)

Here's a clip from the show on a night when Joey and Regis wore Nehru jackets - a gift from guest Sammy Davis, Jr.