Startime: Season 1, Episode 7

George Burns in the Big Time (I) (17 Nov. 1959)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Musical
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(awaiting 5 votes)
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Startime.
« Previous Episode | 7 of 33 Episodes | Next Episode »
Edit

Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
...
Jack Benny
...
Eddie Cantor
George Jessel ...
Georgie Jessel
...
Bobby Darin
The Kingston Trio ...
The Kingston Trio
Jeff Alexander ...
Orchestra Leader (as Jeff Alexander Orchestra)
Jeff Alexander Orchestra ...
Jeff Alexander Orchestra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Buck Wheat ...
The Kingston Trio (as The Kingston Trio)
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

character name in title

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Edit

Details

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Eddie Cantor's last performance on television. See more »

Quotes

George Burns: At my age, I couldn't start fishing and playing golf. I'm too old to retire.
Gracie Allen: Too old! Why, he's got years and years of retirement left in him!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The George Burns Special (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't It Hard
(uncredited)
Written by Woody Guthrie
Performed by The Kingston Trio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great beginning... and end
1 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When wife Gracie Allen retired in 1958, George Burns had the rug pulled out from under his career. Figuring she'd eventually change her mind and come out of retirement, George carried on with the show in the form of a solo TV spin-off of "Burns & Allen," but without Gracie, viewers tuned out -- so in a bizarre turn, his sitcom morphed into a variety show and then back again. Six months after it premiered, "The George Burns Show" was canceled, so Burns had to reinvent himself.

"George Burns in the Big Time" was his first TV foray into the solo spotlight without Gracie and his supporting cast... so he brought along his friends from vaudeville, Eddie Cantor, Georgie Jessel and best friend Jack Benny, as well as up-and-coming talent Bobby Darin (who Burns would soon be headlining with in Las Vegas) and folk singers The Kingston Trio. Burns performed the sort of monologues about his childhood and career that he'd been honing on his TV show and would later perfect as a solo entertainer, Cantor and Jessel did their "Pals" vaudeville routine, Benny hammed it up as usual, Darrin and The Kingston trio performed some songs and joked around with Burns, who then crooned a few tunes solo -- and then all of the vaudevillians teamed up for an amusing comedy sketch and closing performance of "Pals." All in all, it's what one would expect from a variety show of the time... but there are two interesting footnotes.

This is the last known filmed appearance of Cantor, who was the man that had given George and Gracie their start on radio. It's clear from his voice and physical demeanor that his health was on a downward slide, but nevertheless it's nice to see that he went out singing with his "Pals." The special also lends some closure to Gracie Allen's career which viewers of their TV series never got. As George stands alone on the stage closing the show, Gracie's phantom voice echoes over his, arguing and correcting him (though he's either unwilling or unable to hear her) before finally declaring, "Say Goodnight, George" -- and quite fittingly, he ignores her and sings another song. Allen later made one similar voice-over appearance on Benny's program (doing a routine off-camera with George), but it's this brief vocal cameo which really marks the end of the couple's extensive showbiz career. For fans of Burns & Allen, the last few minutes of this program are truly a must- see. Thank God for kinescopes (crummy quality as they were) and the Internet or this little slice of showbiz history probably would've been lost forever.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Swingin' Years with Ronald Reagan (Feb. 1960) alan-dale
Discuss George Burns in the Big Time (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?