A Tribute to Don Lane

Nine has announced a special tribute to Don Lane to air in place of CSI.

DON76~1Nine has announced a special tribute to Don Lane to air tonight at 8:30pm in place of CSI.

A special tribute to the Lanky Yank, Don Lane, who for years brought laughter and tears to the lives of millions of viewers through his popular show The Don Lane Show.

Nine CEO David Gyngell said, “Today Australia lost one of its finest all-round entertainers.

“Don Lane was a stalwart of the industry and a great mate to so many of us here at Nine.

“While Don may have passed, the memories and the laughs he provided will remain with us for many years to come.

“Our deepest condolences are conveyed to Jayne Ambrose, PJ and Don’s extended family.”

In a one-hour special, Channel Nine tonight says farewell to one of the greatest all-round entertainers this country has ever produced.

A Tribute to Don Lane will air at 8.30pm and will feature highlights from the illustrious career of the “lanky yank” as he was affectionately known.

As one of Australia’s most treasured entertainers, Lane hosted two of Australia’s most successful tonight shows ever. In 1965, Lane travelled to Australia on a six-week contract to take over hosting The Tonight Show at TCN 9 Sydney from Dave Allen.

The young American became an instant hit with local audiences and his six-week stint was extended to include most of the second half of the 1960s.

In 1975 he fronted The Don Lane Show, which ran for eight and a half years from the studios of GTV in Melbourne. Lane won the TV Week Gold Logie Award in 1977. The Don Lane Show was ahead of its time in presenting satellite interviews. Lane interviewed a cavalcade of the world’s greatest stars including Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Hope, Liza Minnelli, Robin Williams, Charlton Heston and Tony Curtis.

The final episode of The Don Lane Show went to air on November 13, 1983. It ran for two and a half hours and featured such stars as Sammy Davis Jr, Phyllis Diller and David Bowie.

It is with great sadness, yet such fond memories, that we say goodbye to one of this country’s most loved and revered performers.

Showcasing the unique Don Lane style from the Tonight Show in the 1960s and The Don Lane Show in the 1970s and 80s, A Tribute to Don Lane will feature the cream of entertainers from around the world, including Muhammad Ali, Sylvester Stallone, Robert de Niro, Elton John, Clint Eastwood, Miss Piggy, Mel Gibson, Tony Curtis, Peter Allen, John Travolta, Oliver Reed, Shirley MacLaine, Simon and Garfunkel, Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Alan Alda, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tiny Tim, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Liza Minnelli, John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sammy Davis Jr, David Bowie and, in his first ever live tonight show appearance anywhere in the world, a very young Robin Williams.

22 Responses

  1. What memories!! What wonderful entertainment ,now long gone.I remember watching The Don lane show as a teenager in High school.I would always make sure I was home to watch it.

    RIP Don You were the best!

  2. Seeing those old clips of Don Lane and Bert Newton was absolutely brilliant.
    These days most comedy is full of swearing and crude suggestions, but Don and Bert relied on talent. We have so many murder mysteries on TV these days, why not replay the Don Lane show once a week. People would love it, and you might even educate people into watching talent at work. Give the murders a rest – there’s enough crime in the world without giving people ideas. Let’s have laughter.

  3. Thanks Channel Nine for airing the special on Don Lane it was great. Only bad thing was I didn’t know it was on so I missed a far bit of it. Hopefully the powers that be will air it again and let everyone know so we can watch it from the beginning. Fantastic entertainer, Thanks Karen.

    RIP Don Lane….. We love ur faces……

  4. Damn, I read about this well after it aired. C’mon Nine, run it again for those of us who aren’t checking YourTV every 5 minutes to see what last-minute programming change you’ve made this time 🙂

    I grew up watching Don as well. It was often controversial in my family’s house, as it was on very late (for a primary-school-age kid, anyway!) and I have strong memories of not only looking forward to the show, but repeatedly begging my parents to let me stay up to watch the rest of it 🙂

    People often throw about the term “legend” when it comes to TV nostalgia. Don Lane was the real deal.

  5. They should start repeating some of the Don Lane Shows for those of us who were either not even born yet when they came out.
    Nobody does these kind of programmes as well as the Americans or the British.The closest you have on these days is Letterman.
    I don’t count the likes of Rove or Darryl Somers against the likes of Lane or Bert Newton though.

  6. Marvelous trip back to the 70’s / 80’s tonight what a blast! I was amazed at the quality of some of music acts he had on..Donovan , The Kinks..not too shabby Don!

    Also enjoyed the clips from his old Sydney Tonight Show and the stuff from Ed Sullivan.

    And of course that famous clip with that sceptic guy was shown 🙂

  7. Yes the Don Lane Show was a wonderful show, everyone could watch it, Don and Bert didn’t need to use foul language or smutty comedy to make people laugh not like todays tonight shows etc..

    If Hey Hey can be bought back why can’t we have another “Don Lane Show”, but I guess the networks don’t care about people over 50 who want something with good variety and could have overseas and local acts.

    Don Lane was a true entertainer, it was a sad night when the show ended.

    Thanks Don.

  8. Maybe GO could start repeating some (if not all) of the Don Lane Shows? Cheap to run, not many royalties… certainly a more entertaining alternative to the Revenge of Daryl. God, if only 7 had run a decent variety show in the 70s and 80s – it’d certainly fit in with “It’s Time”…

  9. Geez, I loved Don Lane – I grew up watching him.

    He was a wonderful performer and a great guy. His tonight show was legendary – he will certainly be missed

    RIP Don – thanks for everything.

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