‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ welcomed a young Bette Midler in 1972. She stands on stage in front of the blue curtain, wearing a red top with a black skirt.
She sings gently into a mic with only a piano playing alongside her, singing ‘Hello in There.’ After she finishes, she sits with Johnny, who says he hasn’t seen Bette since Las Vegas. Johnny asks if things are going well.
Bette said things are going great, “It really picked up after Las Vegas.” Johnny says she has been performing bigger shows like Carnegie Hall. Bette says she always has to wear her costumes, referring to them as ‘Clown suits.’
Bette tells a story and says every time she would go backstage, Johnny would say, “When Emmett Kelly dies, that girl is going to come into some fabulous wardrobe.”
Then, Bette says the girl who dressed her took much offense, and Johnny laughs nervously. He says, ‘Well, you do have a tendency to dress like a stolen car.” Johnny says she could always buy clothes, but Bette says she doesn’t have much money.
She says the money’s there, but she doesn’t see it. Bette tells a story about how she bought her first house and had saved money to go on a little vacation, but she got robbed. She says that’s always how it happens with her.
Bette says once she gets some money, it’s like, ‘Pie in the face.’ She says she was trying to sleep through her cramping pains the night before the trip, “Then a burglar came into my home and took my money while I was in bed. It was fabulous.” After Johnny tells Bette she’s going to be a big star, she closes with another great song ‘The Chattanooga Choo Choo.’