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  1. "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?" - George Gobel, March 6th, 1969 on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

    For those of you who are too young to have gotten the reference, I invite you to watch this clip of Dean Martin and George Gobel from an appearance they made on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which used to be a comedic television show on NBC.

    The AV Club has a detailed report of the episode, or you can watch a much longer version of this episode, but this part has the relevant segment.

    The only real context that you need to know is that Judy Carne had been on, talking about “Laugh-In” (ask your parents), and then Bob Hope was on, and then Dean Martin.

    Dean was known for his charm, good looks, and his drinking. The story goes that he got Gobel drunk back-stage, and then came on when Carson announced Gobel. Eventually Gobel came out too, but at the end of the show, and following a bunch of well-known and well-loved stars. (Gobel was fairly well known at the time, but not nearly the star that that others were.)

    Anyway, enough setup… watch the first few minutes of the clip and you’ll get to hear the line. (Keep watching to see what Martin does while Gobel isn’t looking.)

    You’ll note that at the very end, Carson comes back on, much older. This clip was from his retirement episode/retrospective.

    Carson retired on May 22, 1992, and NBC immediately cancelled The Tonight Show because NBC, like Carson, knew that it was better to go out on top, rather than ruining the reputation of what once had been the funniest thing on TV.