The Jack Paar Show

Season 5 Episode 1

September 12, 1961

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Sep 12, 1961 on NBC
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September 12, 1961
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Taped in Berlin segment with Jack Paar, Peggy Cass and film director Robert Siodmak.
Hugh Downs is the New York host with guests singer Earl Wrightson and writer Harry Golden.

Jack Paar and Peggy Cass travel to West Berlin to do a special filmed report on the situation in that city where, one month earlier, East German authorities had started construction of the Berlin Wall. The program was produced with the cooperation of the U.S. military in West Berlin.

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      • The uproar created over this episode helped lead to Paar's decision to leave the Tonight Show in March of the following year.

      • This show created much controversy both home and abroad over the close cooperation between the U.S. military and NBC. In one scene, a detatchment of U.S. troops was ordered to stand near the Brandenburg Gate for the benefit of the NBC cameras. Many in Congress (Senators Hubert Humphrey and Jacob Javits in particular) and in the press felt this was an unacceptable blurring of the line between entertainment and reality. The Pentagon would launch an investigation over the incident (the commanders were later cleared). Abroad, there was criticism over the show's militaristic tone.

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