The number of shows covered in this one is astounding.
planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
3 October 2015
Unlike other episodes from the first season of "The Pioneers of
Television", this one focuses on far more shows and performers than the
others. Part of it is that there were so many different TYPES of
variety shows. Beginning with "The Ed Sullivan Show" (which no one
seemed to understand WHY it was so popular), it moved on to
contemporary variety shows Milton Berle, Red Skelton and Arthur
Godfrey. Godfrey is interesting because is also talked about his huge
rise and huge downfall. Then, on to the 60s with the musical hosts,
such as Perry Como and Andy Williams. Then, after a short discussion on
how the industry didn't give a fair shake to the black entertainers, it
went on to discuss the comedy variety shows like "Your Show of Shows",
"The Carol Burnett Show" and, the very controversial "Smothers Brothers
Show" followed by "Laugh-In", "Flip Wilson" (the first successful black
variety show) as well as crap like "Tony Orlando and Dawn" (why it
talked about this god-awful show, I have no idea). Oddly, while I never
liked it, it is very strange that they didn't mention "Sonny & Cher",
as it was MUCH more influential and popular than Tony Orlando.
Despite being much longer in content and offering a huge variety of
variety shows, this was yet another terrific program. As usual, filled
with interviews, clips and commentary.
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