Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (1949–1959)

TV Series  -   -  Music
5.8
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Title: Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (1949–1959)

Arthur Godfrey and His Friends (1949–1959) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Episodes

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Unknown  
1956   1955   1953  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Host / ... (8 episodes, 1953-1956)
Frank Parker ...
 Himself - Singer (2 episodes, 1953)
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12 January 1949 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Made headlines in 1953 when Godfrey, whose public image was mellow and laid-back but who was notorious for his offstage crankiness and short temper, fired singer Julius LaRosa in the middle of the show - which was broadcast live - on the air. See more »

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Referenced in Two Family House (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Arthur Godfrey and His Erstwhile Friends
24 March 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

At one time, believe it or not, Arthur Godfrey and his ukulele were household words. He was so popular on radio and early TV that he not only had the number two show in the nation but the number three show as well (no one could touch Lucy in the number one slot). "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" barely won out over "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts." He also had a program on how to play the ukulele. The "Ol' Redhead" even tried to sing. Though his singing voice was just a little better than Mr. Spock's, he actually had hit records, the biggest being "The Too Fat Polka," "I don't want her, you can have her/She's too fat for me."

Godfrey cheated just a little. Most of his so-called discoveries were actually professional entertainers who needed a boost to hit the big time. Godfrey gave them this boost by booking them on his shows. One of his "discoveries" was the Italian-American singer from Brooklyn Julius LaRosa whose biggest hit came to be the novelty song "Eh, Cumpari," later used in "The Godfather: Part III." The personality conflict between Godfrey and LaRosa created a national sensation when on the air Godfrey fired LaRosa and eventually replaced him with Pat Boone. I missed the show where this occurred but I recall the TV comics having a field day with jokes about the incident. The careers of both Godfrey and LaRosa never fully recovered from this indiscretion.

I liked Godfrey better on radio than on TV. Like Art Linkletter, he was more effective heard than seen. There were at least three personalities on early TV that would be way out of place in today's TVLand of political correctness where the viewer wants hosts of the caliber of Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford, lots of personality but safe. Dave Garroway, Jack Paar, and Arthur Godfrey were hosts who were entertaining, exuded friendly down-home qualities with exceptional rapport with their audiences, but with dark undertones. These three were skilled at their craft but also egotistical and at times downright mean.

Nonetheless for a few years, Godfrey and his ukulele entertained America and helped popularize the new invention called television.


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