007 talk-show moments (as we remember them)

Even in this digital age, not everything is easily accessible. Not everything is on YouTube. Not everything is on a Web site. So it is with some James Bond moments on television talk shows.

For example, at least the first decade of Johnny Carson-hosted Tonight Shows are lost (save for a few precious exceptions such as the Ed Ames tomahawk incident). In other cases, shows may have been preserved but they’re sitting on a shelf somewhere because nobody has yet to figure a way to make money off them.

In any case, here are a few 007 moments on talk shows, at least as we remember them.

Roger Moore, The Tonight Show, 1973: Roger Moore included a trip to beautiful downtown Burbank, California, to appear on The Tonight Show to promote his 007 debut, Live And Let Die. Carson, though, was on one of his frequent vacations and the future Sir Roger had to settle for Rat Packer Joey Bishop as guest host.

The appearance included a clip of the signature boat chase from the film. Unlike the movie, though, a recording of the original version of The James Bond Theme played over the action.

Sean Connery, The Tonight Show, 1976: Sean Connery was a guest, on hand to promote his latest film, The Next Man, where the Scotman played an Arab diplomat. Things got off to a rocky start. Announcer Ed McMahon, at the show’s opening, referred to the actor as “Seen Connery.” Sometime later, sitting next to Carson, Connery referred to “your Irish friend” with at least a hint of disdain.

Connery and Carson, at least as we remember it, did recall how Carson began his Tonight Show run in 1962, the same year that Connery debuted as 007 in Dr. No.

Roger Moore, The Tonight Show, 1977: Carson is again on vacation but this time Moore is the guest host. It was around the time that The Spy Who Loved Me was coming out. Sorry, we don’t really remember much more than that, other than Sir Roger didn’t seem the most comfortable during the traditional monologue spot.

Roger Moore, The Mike Douglas Show, 1977: Entertainer Mike Douglas’s syndicated talk-show included a co-host, who’d be present for all five shows of a given week. Roger Moore was guest host for a week and promoted Spy. One of the guests that week was none other than 007 producer Albert R. Broccoli. One of Broccoli’s comments was he was confident that James Bond would out-live him.

Pierce Brosnan, Late Show With David Letterman, 1995: David Letterman hosted a week of shows in the U.K. in the spring of 1995, around the time that GoldenEye was wrapping up filming.

Letterman introduced Brosnan as having “the best job in show bid-ness” because he was the new James Bond. Brosnan, making his way to the stage, encoutered a series of models, each holding a tray with a martini (or what appeared to be a martini). Brosnan stopped, taking a sip, eventually working his way to sit next to Letterman.

Pierce Brosnan, The Tonight Show, 1995: As GoldenEye was about to debut in U.S. theaters, Brosnan also made a trip to Burbank, this time for the Jay Leno-hosted version of Tonight. The two watched a clip of GoldenEye’s pre-credits sequence, ending at a spot where it wasn’t certain 007 would survive. Leno complimented Brosnan by saying the film had a detailed plot, unlike other action movies.

UPDATE: A reader who responded to this post reminded of this moment which, of course, was uploaded to YouTube:

14 Responses

  1. Going from my own memory, there was also a Roger Moore appearance on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1985, with Moore promoting AVTAK. The bit of conversation I remember was Merv saying something like “Not all of these Bond films are based on Ian Fleming short stories, are they? There can’t be any left!” Merv was trying to bring levity to the question, but Rog corrected him and said that AVTAK was based on a Fleming story.

  2. What? Nothing about Connery entering on a jetpack during the first few years of Letterman’s CBS show?

  3. Wow, what a great list! I had no idea that Roger Moore had hosted a tonight show. That’s awesome! I would love to see it. I’m surprised that he didn’t cover that in his book (to the best of my recollection, anyway)! I wonder who the guests were? (And I wish THAT were the show that Connery was on. Can you imagine?)

  4. @Wade: post duly updated. We had referenced it before here but it gives us an excuse to put it up again.

    @Tanner: Based on our admitted fuzzy memory, we think Sir Roger showed a clip from TSWLM just after coming on (*possibly* where Bond and Anya are deluged by water near the end of the film) and the Moore got deluged by applause after the clip ended. We hate to admit this, but we actually tuned in a couple of minutes late to watch the show.

  5. @Tanner: and another fuzzy memory just came to us. At some point, during the show, Sir Roger, while interviewing a guest, said something to the effect it was a lot easier to be a guest on a talk show than to be the host.

  6. Great list. I have most of those clips, if you need them.

  7. Thanks so much for these. Can I add another talk show memory from this side of the Atlantic? Brosnan appeared on the Irish ‘Late Late Show’ at the time of ‘Goldeneye’s’ release, during which the host Gay Byrne made a comment to the effect that one thing Brosnan and Bond had in common was that they were both widowers. Brosnan showed amazing restraint and replied tersely in the affirmative, but unsurprisingly there was a distinct chill throughout the rest of the interview. It sticks in my mind as one of the most tactless moments I’ve ever seen on TV…

  8. Here’s the clip of Brosnan on Letterman in ’95. Very cool!

  9. Also, Lois Maxwell did the talk show circuit for YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE armed with a three-minute short showcasing all the girls from the prior bond films (that short still exists in a B&W version). She showed that whole clip on the TONIGHT SHOW and talked about how fat and hairy Connery was getting (referred to him as getting as big as a Sumo wrestler).
    George Lazenby showed up on TONIGHT SHOW for OHMSS sporting a beard and looked and acted very uncomfortable.
    Desmond Llewelyn did the rounds for DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER showing off the latest gadgets from that film, along with a few others, and had a clip reel that he ran with scenes from the first five Bonds showcasing the gadget scenes; i.e., Little Nellie, DB-5, etc.
    Sadly, those clips are no longer around
    (but who knows these days).

  10. And here’s Brosnan on Letterman in London:

  11. Roger Moore appeared on Carson in July 1977 and right after the announcement from Ed McMohon he entered though the side curtain and quickly walked to the desk. He did not do any monologue. McMohon sat down and did a quick interview about TSWLM and a clip of the Lotus underwater battle with evil frogmen was shown with the scene ending after Anya pushes the button for the landmine that blows up the shark hunter. The scene fades after the shark hunter tips down onto the floor of the ocean.

    Ed McMahon commented afterwards that Barbara Bach was a woman that “God did a lot of overtime on.” Otherwise the show made Moore very nervous since he was not use to hosting the show at the last minute. Something I would guess was thrown at him at the last minute.

  12. Mike Douglas did a week of James Bond back in November/December 1974 too. Promoting The Man with the Golden Gun. One of the clips that was shown was the arrival of Bond on Scaramanga’s island and the shooting of the cork.

  13. It’s worth noting that a least one bit player also made the chat show rounds: Harold Sakata. Dressed as “Odd Job,” he appeared on both Carson (strictly a comedy bit — think it was circa the Vicks 44 campaign — in which he walks on, destroys Carson’s desk with a few deft karate chops, and leaves) and Merv Griffin (in this instance — mid-70s as I recall, though specifics escape me — he was actually interviewed).

  14. I recall Rog telling a joke on Merv Griffin in 1973, and showing the Mrs. Bell clip. The joke: Do you smoke after sex? I don’t know, I never looked!

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