After Steve Allen’s departure as the first host of NBC’s The Tonight Show in early 1957, the network mistakenly tinkered around with their winning formula. Six months later they realized their error, rebooted the show, and named Jack Paar the host.
Probably the most memorable thing about Paar’s tenure was the censorship kerfluffle of 1960. The network cut one of his jokes on the February 10 show; they aired news footage over it during the broadcast and failed to inform Paar of it. Paar walked off the set mid-show the next night leaving announcer Hugh Downs to finish the broadcast. Three weeks of controversy ensued, and on March 7, Parr reappeared and began his monologue with the words, “As I was saying before I was interrupted…”
This comes to mind because the last post I made on this blog was just before I left to perform on a cruise ship in January/February 2020.
I was performing on a ship in the South China Sea when the ports started closing around us. I boarded in Guam on February 2, and once we left port we remained at sea for about two weeks without docking anywhere. I finally got off the ship in Singapore — not even close to the prior terminating port of Taipei (which itself was a replacement for Shanghai). I got on a plane and came back to Atlanta. I spoke at and hosted a conference in Atlanta, attended a conference in Tennessee, and then came the great interruption. (As a pianist, I like to call it “The Grand Caesura.”)
During the rest of the year I both did and failed to do many other things that I should. I kept active, transitioning to virtual performances and seminars which I hosted and continue to host from the studio I’ve put together here in my office. I learned to use new software tools, I learned about lighting and sound and streaming, and I worked hard to learn new ways to be interactive and effective while working in the new virtual venue. I delivered value to clients and continue to do so.
But I also failed to do some things. I didn’t have a system to “keep a full pipeline.” I didn’t send out as many emails as the gurus said I should. And of course I didn’t update this blog at all. Next thing you know, it’s March 2021.
Okay, fine — I’ll try to get back on the horse.
I have neat things to tell you about. I have a new virtual show coming up. And I have other projects in store.
Let’s see what happens.