Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Midnight Special:

This is an old article pending revision.

The Midnight Special is a television series that aired from 1972 to 1981. This sweet idea was created by Burt Sugarman. (That terrible pun was unfortunately intentional. Feel free to not pay any attention to it if it is driving you crazy). It aired on NBC on Friday nights for 90 minutes. It featured many performances by many people and groups, both musical and comical. The time slot was after Johnny Carson, which aired 5 days each week. After that, The Tomorrow Show aired Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with The Midnight Special airing on Fridays. Eventually both of these late night programs were both 90 minutes for each episode, and they also ended around the same time. The background usually was filled with many lights of the same color except for the lights that spelled out the guests' names. A similar show is "Soul Train", which is similar with musical performances, but it is a fancy dance floor with music playing constantly. Another similar show is "Saturday Night Live", because it is 90 minutes and also aired on NBC. It aired on Saturday Nights of course, and more people transitioned into working on that show after The Midnight Special had ended. Saturday Night has a regular cast, but a rotating cast of hosts. This is similar to The Midnight Special, who usually also had guest stars or guest hosts, or a rotating cast of hosts. Below is a listing of some of the guest stars on The Midnight Special. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful and informative. It isn't every guest star that appeared on the series, but many of the ones that are on there you might be able to recognize.

Some of the guest stars on The Midnight Special were
 Franklyn Ajaye,
 Lynn Anderson,
 Joan Baez,
 Richard Belzer,
 Elvin Bishop,
 David Bowie,
 Beach Boys,
 Bonnie Bramlett (called "Bonnie Sheriden" on "Roseanne" TV Series),
 Doobie Brothers,
 James Brown,
 George Carlin,
 Ray Charles,
 Jim Croce,
 George Cummings,
 Billy Crystal,
 Billy Joel,
 Elton John,
 Bo Diddley,
 Brooklyn Dreams,
 Rik Elswit,
 Peter Frampton,
 Aretha Franklin,
 Billy Francis,
 Marvin Gaye,
 William Griffin,
 Wolfman Jack,
 Jackie Jackson,
 Rick James,
 Randy Jones,
 Andy Kaufman,
 B.B. King,
 Gladys Knight & The Pips,
 Kris Kristofferson,
 Cheryl Ladd,
 Gordon Lightfoot,
 Dennis Locorriere,
 Fleetwood Mac,
 Chuck Mangione,
 Barry Manilow,
 Steve Martin,
 Johnny Mathis,
 Paul McCartney,
 Bette Midler,
 Van Morrison,
 Eddie Money,
 Olivia Newton-John,
 Michael O'Donoghue,
 Roy Orbison,
 Dolly Parton,
 Billy Preston,
 Richard Pryor,
 Cliff Richard,
 Helen Reddy,
 Linda Ronstadt,
 Diana Ross,
 Todd Rundgren,
 Leo Sayer,
 Ray Sawyer,
 Carly Simon,
 Rod Stewart,
 Donna Summer,
 The Bee Gees,
 The Cars,
 The Spinners,
 The Three Degrees,
 Lily Tomlin,
 Cheap Trick,
 Ike Turner,
 Tina Turner,
 Jimmie Walker,
 Anita Ward,
 Dottie West,
 Slim Whitman,
 John Wolters...


It isn't airing regular new episodes anymore. It has not done that for years. The Midnight Special is well remembered anyways. It is being released little by little provided by companies such as Time Life, who has released other collections from the 1965-1989 era such as various music collections. There is an informercial that airs frequently about The Midnight Special. Watch out for it; you might be able to catch it after your local NBC affiliate has finished airing Saturday Night Live. Some NBC stations air paid advertisements right after Saturday Night Live, and the first one has been about The Midnight Special collections.

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