With the death of Don Kirshner comes the end of an era. Kirshner was the granddaddy of the musical kingmakers (Col. Tom Parker notwithstanding). Known as “the man with the golden ears,” he was responsible for starting the careers of Bobby Darin, The Monkees and The Archies.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s he created Aldon Music with partner Al Nevin. Aldon contracted several of the most important songwriters of the so-called Brill Building, including Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield, Cynthia Weil, Doc Pomus, Mort Shumer, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Barry Mann.
He achieved his greatest fame as host of the syndicated Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert in September, 1973.
And that’s where this clip comes in. Paul Shaffer had been doing a dead-on impression of Kirshner on Saturday Night Live for years when the above clip aired on January 28, 1978. Here, Shaffer as Kirshner introduces the “Mr. Mike & Tina Turner Revue,” featuring Michael O’Donoghue as the “evil Mr. Mike,” Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain and Laraine Newman as the Mikettes, and Garrett Morris doing an insanely brilliant Tina Turner.
Incidentally, this is the last of “Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Bedtime Tales,” as O’Donoghue would leave the show at end of the third season.