Tom Waits performs, then jokes with Martin Mull and Fred Willard on Fernwood Tonight. The mock-talk show ran for a few months in 1977, and was re-formatted and telecast as America 2-Night for a few months in 1978. I had to look up those dates.
In my mind, Fernwood is bound up with two other innovative shows from roughly the same era, SCTV and David Letterman. SCTV because of its “Great White North” skits, featuring two guys who behaved exactly like the two burnouts I shared an apartment with in the early 1980s. (My co-renters were both Waits fans.) Letterman because his TV show in the 1980s, when Waits appeared on it, seemed a cross between Fernwood and a “legitimate” Johnny Carson-type talk show.
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