Texaco Star Theater

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (16)

  • Berle: (describing his days as a boxer) I used to box guys and lay them out. Lorre: With me, it's different. I first lay them out and then I box them.

  • Berle: You've never appeared on a comedy television show before?
    Luke: No, I haven't. But someday I hope I will.

  • Berle: Have a heart! Mad Scientist Lugosi: I think I will!

  • Berle:(yelling at Lewis) You Listen to me! I'm Berle!
    Martin: Berle! Berle!
    Berle: Berle! Berle!
    Lewis: Two Berled eggs!

  • Berle: (giving Thomas advice on how to be a hit on TV) The first thing is your appearance. Your appearance. Your nose is too big for eight inch screens. Thomas: You should talk. (pointing at his nose) This is your old one!

  • Milton: Satchmo, I want to tell you something, whenever I hear you, whenever I hear you sing, I get a great feeling of your great talent, and whenever I hear you blow the trumpet, you were born -- well, I mean, you're the top, you're really the young man with a horn. Louis: Thank you, thank you. And you are my favorite, and you're the young man with the corn. Milton: If I knew it was going to get such a big laugh, I would have given it to myself.

  • Milton Berle: You're with me, Captain Horatio Hornberler, scourge of the seven seas. Hornberler, the king of the pirates. Yes, I am the lord of the pirates, and where I go, everywhere in the world I am feared by men and adored by women! Arnold Stang: You're kiddin'.

  • Berle:(to Bankhead) Don't lower your voice to me!

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Notes (77)

  • In the issue dated 6/16/1948, Variety had this to say about Berle's debut: "Vaudeo-the adaptation of old-time vaudeville into the new video medium-came of age last Tuesday night (8) in a performance that may well be remembered as a milestone in television."

  • The Salici Puppets were scheduled to appear, but were cut when the show began running late.

  • According to several newspaper TV listings, this episode was shortened to 45 minute to make way for NBC coverage of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

  • Television was providing early live coverage of the 1948 Republican Convention in Philadelphia between 6/21-25, 1948 at various times throught the days. (NBC, in fact, went to coverage following this program.) As of June 15, 1948, the largest East coast network of television stations ever assembled was able to carry live convention coverage (18 stations in nine cities). Those stations and cities were: WNBT, WCBS, WABD and WPIX in New York, WNHC in New Haven, WBZ-TV in Boston, WATV in Newark, WFIL, WPTZ and WCAU in Philladelphia, WMAR-TV and WBAL-TV of Baltimore, WTTG and WNBT in Washington and WTVR in Richmond.

  • George Jessel was originally slated to host this episode, but was called back to Hollywood because 20th Century-Fox had ordered all it's stars to stay off of television.

  • According to the (long-since defunct) Hooper ratings, viewership for this telecast in New York was huge. Airing on WNBT, Texaco pulled 82.4% of the TV viewers that hour. Its nearest competition was WABD (with pool coverage of the Democratic Nation Convention and short films) was 4.7%. WCBS-TV also had a 4.7 share with the show Musical Varieties and other short programs.

  • The Billboard magazine reports in a story dated 7/31/1948 (August 7, 1948 edition) that the Kudner Agency is negotiating with Berle to be the permanent host of the series based on the strength of his performance on the debut show.

  • The review in the 9/22/1948 issue in Weekly Variety complained that each of the acts (except for the dog act) were onstage far too long.  Also, the camera work with close-ups of the animals was good, but they couldn't keep up with the fast paced Dewey Sisters. 

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Trivia (17)

  • Variety's review notes issues with the episode's camerawork:  Only three of the four members of The Vagabonds were captured in the group shots; the camera panned between the Costello twins, missing half of their act based on precision teamwork;  cameras failed to capture the full dancing of Bettis and Nobel.

  • The review in the weekly Variety noted the poor camera work which failed to catch much of the performances of Raoul and Eva Reyes and The Acromaniacs.

  • Per Weekly Variety (11/3/1948), Sid Stone's mid-show Texaco spot ran for seven minutes.

  • Variety reports that Milton used the irritating phrase "all kidding aside" 16 times in this episode.

  • Watch for another great live TV moment: At the finish of "Figaro", Melchior dumps a bucket of lather over Milton's head. The bucket was metal instead of plastic and gave Berle a bloody gash on his nose.

  • While dancing as Carmen Miranda, Milton Berle slips and falls in the egg/tomato/motor oil mess from the previous sketch.

  • Berle plugs his forthcoming movie Always Leave Them Laughing.

  • The show came up five minutes short, forcing Berle to pad out the hour killing time.

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Allusions (1)

  • This episode includes two jokes about Bob Hope and one about Ed Sullivan, who's referred to by a space alien as a mechanical man who walks without moving and has almost life-like features.