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'Daytime Revolution' Doc Recalls John & Yoko's Week on 'The Mike Douglas Show'

The Lennons had the rare opportunity to invite guests of their choosing, and the ability to talk about then-controversial topics.

Source: Michael Leshnov

'Daytime Revolution' examines Lennon & Ono's push for change on television.

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A year after the announcement that the John Lennon and Yoko Ono documentary Daytime Revolution wrapped production, the film – a look into the Lennons' week-long hosting duties on The Mike Douglas Show in 1972 – will be distributed by Kino Lorber for theatrical release, followed by home video, educational, and digital platforms.

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Source: Universal Archive/Universal Images Group/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Power To The People, right on.

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Directed by Emmy and IDA-award winner Erik Nelson, the 108-minute doc brings us back to the week of February 14, 1972, when the Lennons came to the set of the Philadelphia-based talk show, the most popular daytime show on U.S. television, seen by an average of 40 million viewers a week. Not there to hustle or hawk an album, they instead co-hosted and produced with Douglas for the five-weekday broadcast.

In this capacity, they had the rare opportunity to invite guests of their choosing, and the ability to talk about then-controversial topics such as police violence, inclusivity and equality for women, and environmental concerns. Douglas, previously perceived as someone who had no business cavorting in the Lennons' radical circus, came across as an even-handed and inquisitive anchor.

Source: Universal Archive/Universal Images Group/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Lennon was a force of nature, even whe he kicked up his cowboy boots.

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The Lennons were not ones to shy away from potential criticism, and that showed with their curated guest list including social activist Jerry Rubin, Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, political commentator (and future presidential candidate) Ralph Nader, author Ruth Uviller and social observer-comedian George Carlin. Music, of course, was hardly off the agenda, and the Lennons welcomed performers such as Asian American folk group Yellow Pearl, psychedelic soul act the Chambers Brothers and improv act Ace Trucking Company (featuring Fred Willard).

But Lennon bringing on his idol Chuck Berry, who rather bemusedly went about his business during and after Ono's inexplicable vocal screeching during "Memphis," should not deter from the real message of their presence. As we'll see with Lennon performing "Imagine," Ono later said, "We wanted to do the shows to show that we are working for peace and love and also to change the world, not with violence, but with love," she explained. "And everybody that we selected is participating in efforts to change the world."

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The Chambers Brothers "Time Has Come Today" on The Ed Sullivan Show

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"Daytime Revolution celebrates a time when anything was possible, when an extraordinary fusion of music, art and politics tried to save the soul of America for five straight afternoons on a wildly popular mainstream talk show," says Nelson, the director. "In a harrowing election year, when the future of America is up for grabs, John and Yoko's prescient message should be heard now more than ever, and we’re looking forward to working with Kino Lorber to get the word out."

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The couple's appearance on the show was groundbreaking and thought-provoking.

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Daytime Revolution, made with the cooperation of Ono and her son Sean Ono Lennon, will feature footage from each of the five 70-minute shows and interviews with six surviving guests, including Nader.


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