Airdate: The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show
For a whole week in 1968 Johnny Carson handed over the reins of The Tonight Show to Harry Belafonte.
Well this is pretty incredible…
For a whole week in 1968 Johnny Carson handed over the reins of The Tonight Show to the multi-talented Harry Belafonte.
Guests included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick and Freda Payne.
Now the story is showcased in a new documentary The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, screening next week on SBS.
While the country was embroiled in a divisive election with racial tensions flaring, Civil Rights activist and trailblazing performer Harry Belafonte guest hosted The Tonight Show for one week in 1968. By then, Johnny Carson had turned this pioneering late-night show into one of the most powerful platforms of communication. In an unprecedented move, Belafonte took a predominantly white institution, The Tonight Show, and transformed it into a multicultural and political experience.
Award-winning director Yoruba Richen examines the importance of this lost broadcast history through vibrant interviews with Belafonte, Whoopi Goldberg, Questlove, and guests who appeared that week including Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, and Freda Payne. This documentary features rare archival footage, including interviews with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, which are among the last television appearances before both were assassinated.
Friday, 6 August at 7.30pm on SBS.