On August 6, 1981, John Travolta made his first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. It’s amazing how humble Travolta was during this appearance considering this was after his starring roles in Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Urban Cowboy. He honestly looked star struck by Johnny. He was on the show promoting his latest film, 1981’s Blow Out, which was critically lauded, but a box office disappointment. Later in the ’80s, Travolta turned down the leading role in American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Splash. It’s hard to know if those movies would have been as successful with Travolta, but it’s no doubt that all three movies were instrumental in the rise of the careers of Richard Gere and Tom Hanks.
Enjoy this look back at John Travolta’s first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1981!