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"Pioneers of Television" Variety (2008)

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The number of shows covered in this one is astounding.

Author: 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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