This night's Carson show featured a live remote from the New York premiere of "Cleopatra" at the Rivoli Theatre on Broadway. The premiere portion of the show, emceed by Bert Parks, quickly turned into a debacle. Parks couldn't handle the crush of celebrities outside of the theatre, and Carson clearly enjoyed watching Parks' discomfort from the safety of his Tonight Show set back at 30 Rock.
On this night Johnny Carson got his first network challenge in late night when ABC debuted the heavily-promoted "Les Crane Show" opposite the Tonight Show. Carson beat Crane handily in the ratings that night and every night, and Crane was taken off the air in a mere four months.