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Jack Paar: Smart Television (2003)

PBS documentary examining the work of Jack Paar.


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Credited cast:
Muhammad Ali ... Himself (archive footage)
Woody Allen ... Himself (archive footage)
The Beatles ... Themselves (archive footage)
Peggy Cass ... Herself (archive footage)
Fidel Castro ... Himself (archive footage)
Dick Cavett ... Himself
Nat 'King' Cole ... Himself (archive footage)
Bill Cosby ... Himself (archive footage)
Hugh Downs ... Himself
Kermit the Frog ... Himself (archive footage)
Judy Garland ... Herself (archive footage)
Robert Goulet ... Himself (archive footage)
Hal Gurnee Hal Gurnee ... Himself
Jim Henson ... Himself (archive footage)
John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)


PBS documentary examining the work of Jack Paar.

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Release Date:

2003 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

LSL Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The only problem is that it's too short
20 August 2006 | by KLHSee all my reviews

An interview with Fidel Castro in 1960. Richard Nixon plays his own piano composition in 1961. Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) in 1963 declares that he will be champion of the world in 1964 (and later does so)--and then recites a poem about himself with Liberace providing musical accompaniment. Robert Kennedy's first television appearance after his brother's assassination. Johnathan Winters and Woody Allen being brilliant, early in their careers.

Paar, for those who need the history, was the original host of what became The Tonight Show. He may have been the best. At the least, this documentary makes it clear that he could give Carson a run for his money. (Carson played more for laughs with a human undertone; Paar goes for the human and gets the laughs.) The clips just leave you wanting more, and wishing that Jay Leno had half the brain or a quarter the courage that Paar does.

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