Johnny Carson Saw To It I Was Shushed
     In 1968, the year of its 100th Anniversary, I joined the J. Walter Thompson Advertising agency in New York City. My very first assignment was as account executive on the Singer account.

     In that role I was also involved with all the advertising that was produced and placed to promote the TV specials. Mr. Al diScipio was the President of the Singer Consumer Goods Division (sewing machines and other home appliances.) He was into show business and was the prime mover in prime time TV specials showcasing Singer’s advertising, such as Singer Presents Tony Bennett and Singer Presents Elvis. You can read about my Elvis sighting in another post.

     One such promotional event tied in with the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on New Year’s Eve. That night Singer had all the network commercial spots for its commercials. A big promotional deal, for sure. There was also multi-media tune in advertising and full merchandizing “synergies” (big buzz word in the Ad Biz) in all the stores.

     Singer had already been a regular weekly advertiser on the Tonight Show; that was during the time when Ed McMahon would do the commercials live. I once attended a rehearsal for one of those spots. Ed seemed to be a bit of a prima donna; only just one quick read and only a special ad agency copywriter to deal directly with the talent. Egg shells everywhere. Careers on the line. Do not approach the talent yourself!

     My reason for being there that New Year’s Eve was to be sure that upon arrival at the ground floor entrance to NBC studio 6-B at 30 Rock Mr. di Scipio and his entourage would be seamlessly whisked up by elevator to the stage floor and seated promptly, no waiting; chop, chop. Star treatment. Any hitch and it would be my very life. Or, so I held it. I was the designated facilitator and NBC provided a small coterie of staff on their side.

     It did go well, in fact. Big Al was gracious enough to invite me and my lovely companion after the show to a night club to see Ella Fitzgerald. After the show he spoke privately with Ms. Fitzgerald. Maybe a potential deal for another Singer Presents.

     Remembering my one other time at the Tonight Show in NYC sometime in around 1969 - 1970. My then fiancé and I were sharing a little private moment together during the show, when this little old lady turns around and quite sternly shushes us.

     Well, what an honor! It was none other than Miss Miller herself!

     I do believe that second time was the best time. A charm.

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