Variety … The Spice Of Life

Posted by Tom Locke on March 28th, 2015 filed in History, Humour, Life

I was lamenting with one of my colleagues the other day on how I missed the TV variety shows of the past.  Shows hosted by the likes of Sonny & Cher, Red Skeleton, Andy Williams, Perry Como, Jackie Gleason, Carol Burnett, Dean Martin, The Smothers Brothers and Donnie & Marie.  And those evening late night shows headlined by Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Merv Griffin and the incomparable Johnny Carson.

And, of course, the Grand Daddy of them all – The Ed Sullivan Show.

For the most part, these shows provided something for everyone.  I particular enjoyed the comedians – those that were established and those who were getting their “big break” on TV.  The established ones included the legendary Henny Youngman, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Jackie Vernon, Jackie Mason and Bob Hope and the up and comers (at least for me) like Bill Cosby, Richard Prior, Flip Wilson, Steve Martin and Jay Leno to name a few.

A true believer in things going full circle, I hope there will be a resurgence in variety programming.  Some say Jimmy Fallon’s show is scripted this way.   And maybe some new comedians will get their “big break”.  I hope so as that’s where the “spice” is.



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