Show Business: Hip Hokum

When top studio Trumpeter Doc Severinsen became music director of the Tonight Show in 1967, he started by wearing sober suits on-camera. Then one night he wore a colorful Pucci tie, and Johnny Carson kidded him about it. Next Doc showed up in a zippier suit; more kidding. Soon the routine evolved into the ritual that is now familiar to millions of viewers: an ever more outrageously garbed Doc leading the band through the opening theme, then turning to await the gibes. "That looks like Roddy McDowall's diving-board cover," Carson will say of a white jumpsuit trimmed in rhinestones. Or, of...

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