Saturday, March 17, 2018

Here's a TV rarity

There was a very short-lived show called OPEN ALL NIGHT.  I believe it was 1981.  It lasted 13 weeks on ABC.  David Isaacs and I wrote two of the episodes and appeared in one.  Shockingly, we were nominated for a WGA Award for one of our OPEN ALL NIGHT episodes.  (Yes, we lost. The show was off the air by then and the company disbanded.)   But it was a very funny show about an all-night convenience store created and ran by Tom Patchett & Jay Tarses, who produced the best years of THE BOB NEWHART SHOW.

The show was very nutty.  And from time to time they had bizarre cameos.  Here's one of strangest.  David Letterman on OPEN ALL NIGHT. 

17 comments :

VincentS said...

Wow! I remember a friend telling me about that Letterman cameo after it was aired and I was always curious to see it. Thanks, Ken.

James said...

For anyone who monitored the ratings for that episode, I'm the one who was watching.

The problem now is that you had to know that Letterman had a morning show on NBC right after Today. My mother, who was not in Letterman's demographic then or now, loved it--I guess they were doing similar things that they would do with the Late Night show--stuff you didn't see on morning TV. Of course, it got killed.

therealshell said...

A re-working of the British comedy Open All Hours, which is now called Still Open All Hours.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3425318/

ScarletNumber said...

@James

The most lasting legacy of Dave's morning show is that he owned it. Therefore, anything that he did on that show he was able to take to CBS. However, his 12:30 show was owned by NBC and Johnny Carson. So anything he first did on that show, such as Larry Bud Melman, Viewer Mail, and the World's Most Dangerous Band, couldn't appear on CBS.

jcs said...

NETCAST REQUEST

Ken, I'm aware that producing a netcast by yourself every week is difficult enough without arranging for an interview guest. Yet here I am asking you to please get Jay Tarses in front of your mic. I wonder if he mellowed with age, I wonder whether he's on speaking terms with Tom Patchett again and I'm interested in his view on today's sitcoms. It seems to me that Tarses rarely went for the easy laughs and I admire that.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I remember a British show called OPEN ALL HOURS, with Ronnie Barker and David Jason. Was that the basis for this?

cd1515 said...

Surprised NBC agreed to let him on an ABC show.
Ken was there a story behind that?

Arthur Mee said...

I watched and enjoyed Open All Night during it's original run. It also had one of the all-time great theme songs ... search it out on YouTube, it's worth it! The entire life story of the lead character summed up in one catchy minute.

tb said...

I remember the show. Can still sing the theme song,or at least the end: "open all night, open all night,open all night.."

Ken Levine said...

I'd love to get Jay on the podcast, but he lives back east now and I rarely see him.

michael said...

My favorite of the Jay Tarses' shows. The episode "Chicken Suit" is still one of the funniest comedies I have ever seen. Written by Thad Mumford and Dan Wilcox and directed by Will Mackenzie, with a brilliant performance by Max Wright. You Tube has the episode as well as others there. I hope it is ok to share it here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqtX4rjmizc

Oh, this was not based on the British series Open All Hours created by Roy Clarke. Both were set in a store but the cast of characters were different. Open All Night was created (as Ken wrote) by Tom Patchett and Jay Tarses.

You can see both series on Youtube.

Jon H said...

I can remember parts of the theme song w/o listening to the show link. I remember "...graduated from Columbus High in 1962..." and other background of how he flunked out of college not long after then, as well as how the title was sung in the theme. I was alerted to this show since I was living in the Nashville area at the time, and Pat Sajak, as well as Oprah Winfrey, had been local tv personalities (on different stations) who both left the area not long before my family moved there in Dec. 1976. Pat would be making an appearance on OPEN ALL NIGHT, so local media mentioned his upcoming appearance. This is just about a year before he took over WHEEL OF FORTUNE from Chuck Woolery. I probably watched the show to see Pat Sajak but don't remember much about it (other than the theme song) otherwise.

Kevin Johnston said...

I remember the show. I liked it and was disappointed when it got canceled.

D McEwan said...

At the time, Sam Whipple from that cast was in a show I emceed every week at The Comedy Store. As a result, I watched the entire run of this show.

Cap'n Bob said...

I didn't see Letterman. This one had Bubba Smith. What I did see was spinner racks of comic books and paperbacks. That dates it right there.

Cap'n Bob said...

Okay, I gave it another try and got Letterman this time.

Arthur Mee said...

Letterman actually has three scenes in this episode -- it's a continuing comic runner.

Full episode is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ28cSkJN84&t=85s

Letterman fans will note the episode is written by Merrill Markoe (who was a staff writer on the show.) As well, a guest character has the name Larry "Bud" Hofsteder, and is consistently addressed as "Larry Bud" ... just like a certain Mr. Melman who came along about a year later.