mlk on merv

*Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s June 6, 1967 visit to “The Merv Griffin Show” will air in its entirety on Sony’s digital cable network getTV in honor of the King Holiday, Jan. 18.

The rarely seen extended interview marked one of Dr. King’s first appearances on an entertainment-based talk show and depicts him smiling and laughing alongside close friend and fellow civil rights activist Harry Belfafonte. The actor reveals early in the episode that Dr. King—while a fan of the show—had some concerns about appearing on this type of program.

He was initially there to promote the release of his fifth book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? However, once the interview starts, Dr. King gets in the flow of things and actually begins joking about how being a clergyman was keeping him from experiencing the “fun” side of New York.

He also talks about his move to Atlanta, his young family, and his job as co-pastor at his father’s church. He goes on to talk about more serious topics, such as the blame he has incurred for inciting violent riots, despite his emphasis on peaceful protest.

THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW airs as part of getTV’s Monday Night Variety Block, on January 18, at 10 p.m. ET. In addition to honoring the Civil Rights leader, the special block celebrates a pair of African-American icons, starting with influential bandleader, composer, and musician Count Basie on THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW at 8 p.m. ET, as he conducts Garland and his orchestra in a rousing medley that includes “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm,” “April In Paris,” and many more. Then, Jazz legend Lena Horne brilliantly performs at Boston’s War Memorial Auditorium in the 1965 Kraft Music Hall edition of THE PERRY COMO SHOW, pairing up with Como for a New England-themed medley featuring “Moonlight in Vermont” and “Old Cape Cod,” that hasn’t been seen for decades.

Click here to find out where getTV airs in your city.