Don’t worry, I’m not really going to tell the story of Burbank, CA. For one thing I don’t really know or care about it. But I do like old footage of L.A. And I’ve been revisiting and enjoying old Johnny Carson shows. And yesterday I killed a perfectly good Sunday reading Henry Bushkin’s memoir about his years as Carson’s lawyer/confidante/butt-of-jokes…and thus here we are, driving around Burbank. You see, ‘The Tonight Show’ moved from New York to L.A. in 1971–beautiful downtown Burbank, such as it was known. Trading the glamour of Manhattan for the soaring dullness of Burbank says something about how ratty and inhospitable the New York City must have become by the early 70s. I myself grew up perilously close to Burbank–a la ‘The Tonight Show’ we relocated from NYC to LA a few years earlier–and watching this late 1950s footage of a drive west from Burbank to North Hollywood (where I–gasp–actually attended High School sort of) demonstrated to me that pretty much nothing changes in the San Fernando Valley, save for the things that get uglier. This footage was most likely shot for rear-projection plates for driving scenes in movies. Now of course it functions in a completely different way–as a time capsule car cruise from another era. So from the spicy Bushkin memoir about Johnny to this almost comically bland footage…


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