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

Seasons


Years



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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Genres:

Comedy | Music

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Release Date:

26 September 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Bill Morris was hired as the Production Designer for the pilot and consequent series. Bill Morris was also the production designer/art director on the ABC TV late night "Joey Bishop Show". Bill asked Hub Braden to assist him, especially drawing stage set plans and elevations, as well as shop/stage set up. On the "Joey Bishop" show set, Bill discovered using "Lexan" framed with square 3/4" iron formed tubing as a scenic element. When the iron framed thin plastic "Lexan", which had been riveted to the 3/4" iron tube shaped into a silhouette framework, was heated with a blow torch, the plastic skin melted forming bubble dimensional shapes, creating the illusion of stained glass framed by leading. The opening "show curtain" was this giant art nouveau floral bubble shaped puzzle introducing Durante, introducing the Lennon Sisters. After opening introductions, this magic curtain traveled off camera, revealing a platform with French arm chairs for guests and hosts as a show home-base. Musical production areas occurred on the left side of the cove muslin cyclorama stage set. 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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