February 25, 1950…”Your Show Of Shows” Debuts On NBC!
“YSOS” debuted as part of a two and a half hour block that was called “Saturday Night Review.” The first hour, was “The Jack Carter Show,” live from WMAQ in Chicago and was a comedy and variety affair airing at 8 Eastern.
At 9, ninety minutes of fun on YSOS hit the air and was followed at 10:30 by “Your Hit Parade”. Jack Carter’s show was replaced the next year by “The All Star Review.” This two and a half hour block was the first time Pat Weaver’s “participating sponsor” plan was used, which gave us the now famous phrase; “Brought to you in part by _____,”
The show debuted from NBC’s first theater converted to television, The International at 5 Columbus Circle. YSOS was actually a carryover from a 1949 show that had been so popular, it was canceled!?!? What? It’s true!
“The Admiral Broadway Revue” was the start of one of television’s greatest early comedy teams…Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, with the great Max Liebman producing. The show had great ratings but unbelievably, Admiral (who “owned” the show) ended it in May of ’49. It seems that the show generated sales of Admiral TV sets that were far beyond their capacity to manufacture them. Admiral had to either end the show or build a new plant.
Since they owned the show, it could not continue with another sponsor and they would not sell it. Such were the sponsorship problems of the early days of television. Soon after this, NBC Vice President Pat Weaver would solve this problem by having the network own the shows and sell spots to sponsors. He is the man that brought magazine style ad sales to radio and television, which spread the cost of production among several advertisers.
On February 25, 1950, four of The International’s brightest years started with the debut of “Your Show Of Shows,” Caesar and Coca were back with a cast of writers that have become the “who’s who” of comedy including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and more.
Below are a few classics clips from “Your Show Of Shows” with Carl Reiner and Howard Morris in with Sid and Imogene. The first is The Haircuts song parody sketch, followed by their parody of “From Here To Eternity” called, “From Here To Obscurity” in two parts. As the story goes, when Sid is doused with buckets of water in the Obscurity sketch, the crew and writers lined up off camera for their turn to throw water in the bosses face! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He4S5UdQ76Y “So Rare”
http://youtu.be/5RQRhtKpbsE “Obscurity Part 1”
http://youtu.be/Yk0-Y1rCwZU “Obscurity Part 2”