The River View Observer’s exclusive interview with the man who is “America’s First Talk Show Host.”
Before Jack Paar Johnny Carson, Jay Leno , Jimmy Kimmel Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon there is Joe Franklin.
by Sally Deering
To his fans he’s the “King of Nostalgia,” but to thousands of show folk, Joe Franklin is a friend who gives stars a place to shine and unknowns the chance to stand out from the crowd. In his 50-year career, Franklin has made it his mission to help the struggling artist get a foot in the door, and with a look-back, it seems this spunky octogenarian not only accomplished his goal, he picked up a little stardust of his own along the way.
In 1951 TV was a toddler still learning and discovering its capabilities. Many of the TV studios were in New York – on the fringes of the Theater District broadcasting game shows, kiddie shows, dramas and comedies live and in black-and-white. That year, station WJZ (which later became ABC,) approached Franklin about doing a TV talk show.Things clicked and “The Joe Franklin Show” premiered with Franklin as host engaging celebrity guests in the art of conversation.