Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters (1969–1970)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Music
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Comedy/variety show co-hosted by the eponymous Lennon Sisters and Jimmy Durante. This family-oriented variety series tried hard, but high budgets, top-name guests, and the obviously sincere... See full summary »

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Title: Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters (1969–1970)

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Episodes

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1  
1970   1969  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself / ... (25 episodes, 1969-1970)
The Lennon Sisters ...
 Themselves (24 episodes, 1969-1970)
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Storyline

Comedy/variety show co-hosted by the eponymous Lennon Sisters and Jimmy Durante. This family-oriented variety series tried hard, but high budgets, top-name guests, and the obviously sincere efforts of everyone involved just couldn't overcome a poor concept. Durante's and the Lennons' styles just didn't mesh, and the show was cancelled after a single season. Written by Bob Sorrentino

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Comedy | Music

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Release Date:

26 September 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The Lennon Sisters were a staple on the Saturday night ABC-TV Lawrence Welk music variety hour show. ABC TV program executives had brainstormed on springing the popular "sister act" on to their own variety hour, which Lawence Welk had approved. Fearing the sisters could not carry not sustain a full hour, ABC TV joined Jimmy Durante as their co-host. Durante's appearances on the Hollywood Palace had invigorated his career with ABC acknowledging his viewing audience popularity. The "Jimmy Durante presents The Lennon Sisters" show was scheduled during the mid week schedule. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Half-baked apple pie, with a side order of Schnozzola.
19 June 2007 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters' was the unwieldy title of this pushmi-pullyu American variety series which didn't last very long. I saw three episodes at a screening in London when an American producer was attempting to sell the UK syndication rights.

In 1970 I had never heard of the Lennon Sisters, and I'd thought maybe they were related to John Lennon. They turned out to be a sibling quartet, reasonably attractive but hardly sexy with it. If the term 'clean-cut' can be applied to women, it fits the Lennons perfectly. A serious weakness of this series (at least, in the episodes I viewed) was that no effort was made to differentiate the sisters as four different people with distinct personalities. They might as well have been conjoined quadruplets: if one of them is performing, the other three are right there harmonising. On this series, the Lennons invariably wore either matching frocks or colour-coordinated gowns.

Jimmy Durante, of course, needs no introduction. He had previously starred in his own variety series; the American producer at the London screening explained to us that Durante had wanted to star in another variety programme, but didn't want the work or responsibility of carrying one entirely on his tod. He and the Lennon Sisters both happened to be represented by the same talent agency ... so, hey presto!

Each of those two acts had its own merits and its own appeal, but they didn't blend well. Jimmy's solo segments, and the sisters' numbers without Durante, worked much better than the awkward moments when Jimmy would seat himself at the piano and regale the younger Lennons with his old-time showbiz nostalgia.

I recall one especially painful moment. One of the episodes screened for us featured a guest appearance by an American stand-up comedian who rejoiced in the name Corbett Monica. He came out onstage, glanced at the studio audience, and deadpanned: 'Welcome to "Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters".' He paused for a beat, then went on: 'And they say **I** have a weird name.'

One of these years I'll start laughing at that.

I'm very much a Durante fan, but this was hardly his best work ... and the Lennon Sisters, I've been told, have done much better work elsewhere too. I can readily believe it.


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