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A Viewer Mail request leads to the firing of a beloved Late Night staffer; the first edition of "Floor Crew Show n' Tell" (see recap).
Late Night celebrates its first anniversary with a 90-minute all-star gala, featuring Hollywood's own Army Archerd, who introduces luminaries, such as Captain Haggerty, Howard Taylor, and Calvert DeForest as they emerge from their limousines and enter the NBC studios at Rockefeller Center to watch a clip show. Dave introduces "El Knob Grande," also known as The Giant Doorknob. James Brown appears for three segments, performing "I Feel Good" and "Doin' It to Death."moreless
Randy Newman makes a rare appearance on Late Night, performing "I Love L.A." and "Political Science." Later, survivalist Tom Brown Jr. weirds out Dave.
Dave telling the audience who will be on the next night's show turns into a convoluted explanation featuring Paul, several writers and staffers, and Frank Zappa. Also, basketball great/future talk show host Magic Johnson makes his first guest appearance on Late Night.
Dave explains that tomorrow's show is preempted for Wimbledon coverage, so to ease worried viewers Dave and Bill Wendell appear in a sketch called "Anatomy of a Preemption." The sketch ends with Bill reading from actor George Kennedy's new novel. Also, Chris Elliott is "The Psychotic Page" during a rare Wednesday "Viewer Mail" segment.moreless
Police guitarist Andy Summers promotes his photography book "Throb" and fields questions about the future of the band. At the end of the show, Dave and Paul leave the studio and walk down the hallway discussing their favorite Funkadelic songs. Larry Bud joins them and leads them to the record library to rob them.moreless
After much negotiating, The World's Largest Vase begins a week-long display on the show; Carrie Fisher drops by to promote a tiny independent movie called "Revenge of the Jedi."
Elizabeth Tashjian, curator of the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, makes her first of two appearances on Late Night, gracing viewers with her song, "Nuts Are Beautiful." Also, Smokey Robinson drops by to promote the upcoming "Motown 25" TV special.
A "Brush With Greatness" segment is interrupted by a (real) power outage at 30 Rock; Jeff Goldblum plays the piano with his sister Pam.
Actor and raconteur Peter O'Toole (promoting a re-release of 1972's The Ruling Class) makes his first appearance on Late Night. It takes him a minute or two to orient himself. Later, Phoebe Snow performed "Blue Monday."
In a rare TV appearance, punk band X performed "Hot House" and "Breathless."
The debut of "Audience Book Reports," as Joanne Hickman and Ron McCoy review "Shogun" and "Fame" respectively; Joan Howard Maurer (daughter of Moe Howard) promotes a Three Stooges biography and shares some home movies.
Larry "Bud" opens the show from St. Thomas to kick off the beginning of Virgin Islands Week. Also, the Museum of the Hard to Believe features a bowl of the rudest cereal in the world: "Snap, Crackle, and F--- you!"
A segment called "Year-end Comedy Leftovers" includes a Dial-It Service called "Dial-Some-Bad-Advice-to-Out-of-Towners," during which Dave suggests licking the sidewalk and laughing at subway passengers. Later in the show, to honor the 50th anniversary of the NBC page program, Dave grills the interns on-stage with quiz questions from their handbook.
In his first Late Night appearance, C&W great Waylon Jennings performs "Living Legends" and sits down with Dave.
An emotional Jack Paar appears on the show to promote his new memoir. Later, Paar escorts Dave to his old dressing room, where he points out steam pipes painted by Jim Henson in the mid-60s.