Matinee Lady, The

The buxom, blonde Carol Wayne earned the title of “The Matinee Lady” when she appeared as a member of the Mighty Carson Art Players on the “Tea Time Movie” sketch, an occasional segment of THE TONIGHT SHOW/NBC/1962-92 starring Johnny Carson.


Hosting this fictional late night movie show was the lecherous hustler, Art Fern (Johnny Carson) who sold anything to anybody during intermissions.

Assisting his rapid fire sales pitch was “The Matinee Lady” whose job was to stand next to Art Fern, act dumb, look beautiful, and be the recipient of his many obvious sexual innuendos. When the commercial spot ended, Art grabbed the Matinee Lady and kissed her until the next commercial interruption.

Tragically, this wonderful female second banana drowned in Manzanillo, Mexico on January 11, 1985. She was forty-two. Zany blonde actress Teresa Ganzel replaced Carol Wayne as The Matinee Lady from 1986-1992.

Carol Wayne’s performances can be seen on the syndicated THE BEST OF CARSON and CARSON’S COMEDY CLASSICS (excerpts from THE TONIGHT SHOW).

Note: In the late 1950s, Carol Wayne and her sister, Nina were professional ice skaters with the Ice Capades and later worked as Las Vegas showgirls at the Folies Bergere.

See also – “Art Fern” ; Tea Time Movie skit @ You Tube


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Showbiz Nicknames

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