Playhouse 90: Season 1, Episode 20

The Comedian (14 Feb. 1957)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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Sammy Hogarth, a vaudeville comedian who now has his own TV show, is a ruthless egomaniac who demands instant obedience from his staff and heaps abuse on those in lesser positions than he ... See full summary »



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Title: The Comedian (14 Feb 1957)

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Episode cast overview:
Constance Ford ...
King Donovan ...
Eddie Ryder ...
Michael Ross ...
Masseur (as Mike Ross)


Sammy Hogarth, a vaudeville comedian who now has his own TV show, is a ruthless egomaniac who demands instant obedience from his staff and heaps abuse on those in lesser positions than he is. His most vituperative behavior, however, is reserved for his weak-willed brother, Lester, who Sammy has hired as his assistant but who really uses him as his whipping boy. Written by

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Release Date:

14 February 1957 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gossip columnist Elwell (Whit Bissell) is also a character in Sweet Smell of Success (1957). Both productions are from material by Ernest Lehman. See more »

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User Reviews

A Lover of Power With No Power To Love
29 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mickey Rooney plays Sammy Hogarth, a famous comedian of stage and television, adored by the masses, hated and despised by his intimates.

There are two plots here, the lesser involving Sammy's brother, Lester, played by Mel Torme--a grown crybaby who clings to his big brother's shirttail from which comes his job as an abused go-for, and along with the job comes a weekly sketch portraying him as Lester the bumbling fool. There's a desire to get out from under this character abuse, but poor, weak Lester hasn't the backbone to properly make his stand without the aid of his endearing, but troubled wife played by Kim Hunter.

Edmond O'Brien plays the pivotal role in this production as Sammy's head comedy writer, and the plot involving a less than honorable script he's come up with is the real fuel for this story. Deceit is the name of the game in this television... well, let's call it a mini-movie since that's what Playhouse 90 more or less turned out, and as usual, O'Brien upstages pretty much everyone he's on screen with. Mickey Rooney certainly gives him a run for his money though. Unfortunately, these bad guy type roles Rooney started playing in the 50s were a big part of what contributed to his losing the public's admiration even though he did them well.

I don't think you'll be disappointed with anything, except perhaps the ending, which may leave you less contented than ole' Bossy on a late milking day. It's done well though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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