The Alan Young Show (1950–1953)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
6.8
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Hosted by and starring veteran radio comedian Alan Young, this program entertained viewers in a less physical, more intellectual style than Milton Berle, Abbott and Costello or other comedy... See full summary »

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Title: The Alan Young Show (1950–1953)

The Alan Young Show (1950–1953) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Episodes

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Unknown   3   2   1  
1951   1950  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
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 Himself - Host / ... (8 episodes, 1950-1951)
...
 Herself / ... (3 episodes, 1950-1951)
...
 Himself (2 episodes, 1950-1951)
...
 Himself (2 episodes, 1951)
...
 Himself (2 episodes, 1951)
Ilene Woods ...
 Herself / ... (2 episodes, 1951)
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Storyline

Hosted by and starring veteran radio comedian Alan Young, this program entertained viewers in a less physical, more intellectual style than Milton Berle, Abbott and Costello or other comedy programs. The show typically began with a monologue by Young, followed some musical numbers, then moving on to a pair of comedy skits. The show, unfortunately, failed to become as popular as its competitors, and it was cancelled in 1953. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Comedy

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6 April 1950 (USA)  »

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Connections

Referenced in The Jack Benny Program: Dorothy Shay (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Stinky's birthplace
30 November 2003 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Alan Young is remembered for playing straight man to a talking horse, but he was actually a talented singer, actor and comedian. However, this affable Tynesider also had a soft-spoken personality: a trait which is useful for playing second banana to a loquacious gee-gee, but which hardly makes for showbiz immortality.

'The Alan Young Show' (pre-Mister Ed) was an easy-going variety series. Young opened each episode with a comedy monologue, then followed this with a musical number (either a solo, or a duet with a guest star). The second half of the show featured two comedy sketches: one of them usually a solo turn for Young as a meek Everyman caught in a perplexing situation, the other a more elaborate set-piece with a guest star. None of this was especially trend-setting. If released today to the home video market, 'The Alan Young Show' would be pleasantly nostalgic yet it would pale in comparison to much more dynamic (and funnier) variety and sitcom programmes from that same era. The production values on this series were extremely low, although the musical direction was provided impeccably by the talented George Wyle (not yet sporting the distinctive beard that he wore throughout the 1970s).

From a historical standpoint, the most important episode of 'The Alan Young Show' was the edition of 22 November 1951. The two guest stars were singer Connee Boswell and comedian Joe Besser. Connee Boswell was a popular singer of this period, whose stardom had a morbid undertone because (having polio) she performed in a specially-designed wheelchair. The chair was taller and shallower than most wheelchairs, cantilevered vertically so that (when Miss Boswell wore a specially-tailored floor-length gown) she looked nearly as if she were standing up normally. Although Miss Boswell's half-concealed handicap was well known at the time, I stress that she was a genuinely talented (and personable) singer whose popularity was well earned, and she did not exploit her handicap as a gimmick. Still, her performing style has dated badly.

In the final sequence of this episode, Alan Young and Joe Besser did a comedy skit in which they played a couple of naughty four-year-old boys, dressed in Buster Brown cozzies and performing on a set with oversized furniture and props to make these grown men appear child-sized. (As Laurel and Hardy did in 'Brats'.) Lou Costello, who knew Besser socially, watched this skit when it was televised and decided to hire Joe Besser to play a similar character on the Abbott and Costello tv series which was then in development.

Joe Besser is now fondly remembered by comedy fans as Stinky, the annoying little boy (in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit) who pestered Bud and Lou on their sitcom. So, 'The Alan Young Show' gets credit for the one-off first appearance of a sitcom character who is now remembered for appearing in a different series.


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