Whatever happened to the variety/comedy shows? You know, the ones where they played before a live audience, mixing comedy skits with singers, guest stars, dancers and an hour of laughter. The best ever, in my humble opinion, was the Carol Burnett Show. She had it all. Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and the best; herself. Every show began with a monologue, questions from the audience with ad lib quips, that Tarzan sreech, and the washer woman character that no one could imitate.
As the saying goes, they don’t make like they used to. The younger folks don’t know what they missed without seeing these wonderful shows. Yes, I’m glad I was around when they were big hits, but they also sadden me when I watch the poor excuses we have today for comedy in comparison.
No canned laughter for these folks. But it wasn’t needed. Just watch any episode of “Burnett” or “Jackie Gleason” and you’ll find plenty of that authentic laughter coming from the people in the studio. Something about fake laughter that I resent. It’s as though the producers of these shows don’t trust us to know what’s funny.
Anyway, here’s my top ten for the greatest variety shows of all time. (With a few links to spice it up)
The Carol Burnett Show
The Dean Martin Show
Sonny And Cher
The Smothers Brothers
The Colgate Comedy Hour
The Show Of Shows
The Ed Sullivan Show
Red Skelton Show
Milton Berle Show
What say you…my fellow senior citizens?