Chris Hicks: Two ‘Tonight Show’ sets with Johnny Carson and guests are on DVD

“The Tonight Show,” “Ned and Stacey” and “Modern Family” are on DVD this week.

“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends” (Time Life, 1973-92, 10 discs, 28 episodes, bonus clips).

“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series” (Time Life, 1972-84, six discs, 12 episodes, bonus clips). Some of these discs have been available in smaller sets, but these are the full collections, being released in retail venues for the first time. These are mostly complete shows, with optional network commercials. Nostalgia fans of a certain age should be in hog heaven.

“Johnny and Friends” is comprised of three shows each featuring Robin Williams, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Burt Reynolds, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy and Jim Fowler, and two shows each with Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfield, and the latter two discs include bonus clips. Other guests on these episodes include James Stewart, Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, Susan Sarandon, James Garner, Lucille Ball, Raquel Welch, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Hanks, Lauren Bacall and James Mason.

“The Vault Series” features some of the earliest available Carson shows, mostly from the early to mid 1970s, with Dean Martin, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston, Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Orson Welles, Bing Crosby, Muhammad Ali, Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Paul McCartney, among others.

“Ned and Stacey: The Complete Series” (Shout!, 1995-97, six discs, 46 episodes, audio commentary, featurette). This ’90s sitcom is about a marriage of convenience between two Manhattanites, self-absorbed advertising executive Ned (Thomas Haden Church), who needs a wife to advance at his agency, and neurotic freelance writer Stacey (Debra Messing), desperate to move out of her parents home and into her own apartment. But the draw, of course, is Church and Messing,…

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