The Midnight Special

NBC (ended 1981)
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  • show Description
  • Welcome to The Midnight Special guide at The Midnight Special was a late-night rock music series airing Friday nights (or, to be more exact, early Saturday mornings). On most NBC affiliates, The Midnight Special followed "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson." For its first 8 seasons, The Midnight Special's time slot was from 1:00am to 2:30am. But when Johnny Carson cut "The Tonight Show" down from 90 to 60 minutes, The Midnight Special was moved up to the 12:30am-2:00am time slot. NBC aired The Midnight Special's pilot on August 19, 1972. The pilot was presented as a 90-minute special encouraging young people to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. On February 2, 1973, The Midnight Special premiered as a weekly series. For most of its run, a different guest host was featured every week. (An exception to this was from July 1975 through March 1976 when Helen Reddy was the regular host.) Wolfman Jack, fresh from his role in "American Graffiti," was the series' announcer and a frequent guest host. Around 1978, at the height of the Disco craze, the set was modified to resemble a Disco nightclub, complete with a platform dance floor. Wolfman Jack stood behind an elevated DJ booth. But by Fall 1979, as the genre's popularity waned, the disco set was gone. During its last few seasons, The Midnight Special received criticism for not giving enough attention to the punk & new wave music of the late-1970s to early 1980s. While a few punk/new wave acts were presented (either as live guests or in music videos), the majority of musical guests continued to be MOR or disco acts. Beginning April 11, 1980, The Midnight Special faced competition from ABC's "Fridays," a "Saturday Night Live" comedy series. Fridays' musical guests were often more cutting edge than those seen on The Midnight Special. In May 1981, NBC replaced The Midnight Special with "SCTV Network 90," an expanded version of "Second City TV," previously a syndicated 30-minute series.moreless

  • Episode Guide
  • S 9 : Ep 25

    Hosts: Skip Stephenson & Byron Allen

    Aired 3/27/81

  • S 9 : Ep 24

    Host: Patricia Davis

    Aired 3/20/81

  • S 9 : Ep 23

    Host: John Schneider

    Aired 3/13/81

  • S 9 : Ep 22

    Host: Laraine Newman

    Aired 3/6/81

  • S 9 : Ep 21

    Host: Marilu Henner

    Aired 2/20/81

  • Cast & Crew
  • Helen Reddy

    Host (July 1975 - March 1976) & frequent guest host

  • Wolfman Jack

    Announcer & frequent host

  • Paul McCartney

    Himself, music video

  • David Bowie


  • B.B. King


  • Top Contributor
  • TomAlger

    User Score: 3879


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (21)

    • The copy that I viewed was missing Carmen ("Bullfight") and The Troggs ("I Can't Control Myself" & "Strange Movies")

    • Jose Feliciano might have also performed "The Midnight Special" on this show.

    • Another source listed these Redbone songs: "Standing in the Rain," "Thirteenth Hour Chant," "Come and Get Your Love" and "Maggie"

    • That Bass player is Charles Fletcher who also played with Dave Mason , Pointer Sisters, Al Wilson ,Martha Reeves Albert King, Hampton Hawes too many to name all. Born in San Francisco ca, in the 1940s grew up with Sly Stone, Santana and all of the Bay Area greats. And let's not forget Naked Lunch a Bill Graham group.Want to see Charles Fletcher playing with legendary Super Star Lester Chambers of the 1960s The Chambers Brothers click or copy and paste this link

    • Charles Fletcher (a.k.a. FEDERALEAGLE) added the following: Hi everybody I played bass with Marvin Gaye in 1974 live tour I am looking for any or all of my band members back in the day Buzzard, Joe, Leslie you know who you are contact me so we can kick it again. Hey! and Frankie that means you to Email- I am alive and well love you guys hope to here from you soon and if anybody knows were I can find the Midnight Special that we did Aug 4 1974 at Braves stadium that would be so cool thanks

    • NBC repeated this episode on 22-Jul-1977 and 24-Aug-1979.

    • Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina were scheduled to appear on this episode (medley: "You Need a Man" & "Coming to You")

    • What was interesting about this being Supertramp's first American television appearance, was that lead guitarist Roger Hodgson had broken his thumb three weeks earlier. Close observers will see that Roger had the cast painted pink, in order to be less noticeable.

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  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Re Midnight Special was Great

    By haighttim, Nov 01, 2014

  • Midnight Special was great!

    By statman99, Apr 26, 2006