Greatest All-Time Variety/Comedy Shows

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

YouTube -Tim Conway’s Elephant Story  

The Jackie Gleason Show


The Dean Martin Show

YouTube – Drunk Airline Pilot

Sonny And Cher

Click here: YouTube – Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour #4

The Smothers Brothers

YouTube – The Smothers Brothers – Part 3

The Colgate Comedy Hour

YouTube – Jerry Lewis Colgate Comedy Hour

colgate comedy hour Videos

The Show Of Shows

The Ed Sullivan Show

Red Skelton Show

Milton Berle Show 


What say you…my fellow senior citizens?