DC Video Restores Rare 1964 Color Tonight Show

DC Video has recovered and restored a very rare color videotape of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson that aired on August 24, 1964. This appears to be the oldest surviving color videotape anywhere of Johnny Carson, surpassing the Stan Zabka color recording by approx 6 days. Additionally, this videotape consists of the program open, full monologue and approx 1 hour of the show. 

The challenge with this tape recovery was that the record machine was using the low-band monochrome standard, a mode designed for black & white video, not color. However, using the third-generation Ampex AVR-1 for the playback yielded an excellent color picture with sound despite the bandwidth limitations of the low-band mono standard. 

Additionally, this tape was recorded via a TV antenna off-the-air. Miscellaneous video noise and extraneous impulse spikes were recorded with the video but the AVR-1 handled these errors with it's full one-line buffer aka time base corrector.