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    The Colgate Comedy Hour

    The Colgate Comedy Hour

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    NBC (ended 1955)
    The Colgate Comedy Hour was a big-budget variety series featuring some of the biggest names in show business. Variety shows hosted by a major comedian were common in the early fifties, but the Colgate show was different in featuring alternating hosts. Some performers, like Phil Silvers or Ray Bolger, would only host once or twice, while the "regular" hosts appeared roughly once a month. At that time, variety meant variety, so the talent featured on Colgate ran the course from opera to vaudeville, from adaptations of Broadway shows to dog acts; and always lots of comedy. During it's entire Sunday night run, its main competition was Toast of the Town on CBS, a program better known to us today asThe Ed Sullivan Show.
    The series was also one of TV's priciest. According to the 7/9/50 issue of the New York Times, the first season would cost $25,000 weekly in airtime and $50,000 in talent and production charges.
    The show was broadcast live from New York's International Theatre almost exclusively during the first season. The regular rotation of hosts were: Eddie Cantor, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (the sole surviving original hosts to stay with the series for its entire run), Fred Allen, Bob Hope and his fill-in Bobby Clark. Fred Allen called it quits after just a few telecasts. He didn't like television---and it showed. Once a month, an episode was sponsored by Frigidaire rather than Colgate. On those nights, the title of the series was shortened to The Comedy Hour. Those episodes are included in this listing. Colgate ended its first season as the fifth highest rated series on TV.
    Season two brought about a move to the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood since television had, for the first time, the technology to broadcast live from the West Coast. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello joined the line-up of regular hosts, keeping company with Martin/Lewis, Cantor, Donald O'Connor and the occasional Hope. Jackie Gleason, then starring on DuMont's Cavalcade of Stars , kicked off the season of television's highest-budget series! This season, the series again ranked at number five.
    Season three found Eddie Cantor out for several months, having had a heart attack hours after his first show of the season. He would return in the spring, but more guests hosts than usual were employed during his recovery. For this season, Colgate ranked as seventh most popular.
    Jimmy Durante joined Martin/Lewis, Abbott/Costello, Cantor and O'Connor as hosts of the fourth season. The 11/22/1953 telecast was quite historic. It was the first public broadcast using NBC/RCA's new color technology. Several hundred sets were set up around New York for people to view the program. Donald O'Connor had the honor of hosting that week. For the first time in its run, the series didn't take an official "summer break"; the episodes that filled the time slot until the fall premiere are included in this listing.
    Season five found the series in decline. It dropped in the ratings from tenth to twenty-seventh, while Ed Sullivan's show rose to number five! This coincided with a new production team taking over the show and the departure of most of the series' regular hosts. Instead, big splashy events and musical extravaganzas were scheduled. The public was disinterested and the critics weren't very kind. With falling fortunes, the series found itself pre-empted often for special programs. Again, a summer edition of the series with the revised title The Colgate Variety Hour filled the hot months and those episodes are included here.
    The end was near for this once-great series. Martin and Lewis did appear twice, but shows were mostly hosted by Robert Paige or Gordon MacCrae. The Colgate Variety Hour ended its run on Christmas night 1955 with a program of holiday music. During this final half-season, the show didn't make it into the top thirty rated shows.moreless
  • 22
    The Bob Cummings Show

    The Bob Cummings Show

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    NBC (ended 1959)
    1940s film star Bob Cummings squeezed the last bit of career out his fame with this network-hopping sitcom. Cummings plays Bob Collins, a hot photographer we're supposed to believe is a freewheeling playboy, living in squeaky clean 1950s Hollywood. Bob's business consists almost exclusively of shooting glamour girls, who Bob pursues with a singleness of purpose. Bob rarely gets further than a peck on the cheek, thanks to his his home life, where he lives and is outwitted by his sister, Margaret, played by Rosemary DeCamp, who is determined to get Bob paired off. Also at home is Bob's nephew and surrogate son Chuck, played Dwayne Hickman, with matinee idol looks. Chuck often gets involved in Bob's schemes, doing his best to land a model for himself. At work, the brilliant Ann B. Davis milks the limited writing for more laughs than the words deserve, playing Bob's office girl, Schultzy. Schultzy only has eyes for Bob, but Bob just sees her as one of the boys. (Schultzy would later move to the valley and work as a live-in maid for the Brady family.) Also in hot-but-pointless pursuit is Pamela Livingston, played by character actress Nancy Kulp -- Miss Jane from the Beverly Hillbillies -- honing her own version of the comic spinster act. Bob jumped from network to network in his four-year run. Audiences liked Bob, but didn't quite love him enough to give him the longevity of Lucy. Credibility suffered as the rapidly aging Cummings tried to work the young cad angle for too long.moreless
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    Huckleberry Hound

    Huckleberry Hound

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    CBS (ended 1962)
    Huckleberry Hound is a blue-haired Southern dog with a fondness for the song, "My Darling, Clementine", and is a jack-of-all-trades cartoon star, appearing as a scientist (trying to neutralize a gigantic, thinking potato), a Scotland Yard detective (chasing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Victorian London or investigating reports of a mad scientist's Frankenstein-like weiner monster in early-1900s rural England), a Foreign Legion soldier (foiling a renegade Frenchman-turned-Arab), or a modern policeman (trying to subdue an impish ape named Wee Willie). Episodes of this television series begin and end with a Huckleberry cartoon. Sandwiched between them is a cartoon with two mischievous mice, Pixie and Dixie and a cantankerous cat named Mr. Jinks. Sometimes appearing in their stead in the middle cartoon was a free-spirited Hokey Wolf or the "smarter than the average" Yogi Bear.moreless
  • 24
    Felix The Cat

    Felix The Cat

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    (ended 1953)
    Felix the Cat follows the offbeat adventures of that curious feline, Felix. The first episodes where shown in black & white silent cartoons before it's relaunch in the 1960s. Throughout the 1920s, Felix was arguably the most popular of all silent-era cartoon characters. His image was mass-merchandised and used to sell dolls, baby oil, and many other products. He even had his own brand of cigars. Not only that, but he was also the first thing to be broadcasted on television. Sadly, he has be all but forgotten about by most.moreless
  • 25
    Casper the Friendly Ghost

    Casper the Friendly Ghost

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    Classic Media
    Casper the Friendly Ghost is a children's cartoon television series that originally aired in 1950 and based on a storybook character creation by Joe Oriolo and Seymour Reit. Casper is the ghost of a little boy. For years he has spent haunting and scaring various victims from his comfortable place in the afterlife. But too much of anything gets really boring after awhile. So Casper takes it upon himself to go off on his own and make friends for a change. He hasn't had a friend in a long time. There's only one problem. He's a ghost! Most people or animals are afraid of him and immediately run off scared. It's up to Casper to prove to them how friendly a ghost can really be! So while he looks spooky, there's really no one nicer. This wildly successful series of shorts inspired a 1995 live action movie, several comic books and various cartoon revamps. In 2001 this vintage classic show was acquired by Classic Media and is now offered online for fans, young and old!moreless
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    Pride of the Family

    Pride of the Family

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    ABC (ended 1954)
    A sitcom about the head of a family who can't do anything right.
  • 27
    Doodles Weaver

    Doodles Weaver

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    NBC (ended 1951)
    coming soon
  • 28
    The Real McCoys

    The Real McCoys

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    The McCoy family moves from the mountains of West Virginia to California's San Fernando Valley. The leader of the clan is Grampa--a cranky old geezer with a distinctive voice and gait--but underneath it all, he has a heart of gold. Living with him are his grandson, Luke, and Luke's bride, Kate. Due to the death of Luke's parents, these three adults are raising Luke's teenage sister, Hassie, and his younger brother, Little Luke.moreless
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    Dennis the Menace

    Dennis the Menace

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    CBS (ended 1963)
    This is the 1959 CBS live-action situation comedy based on the comic strip by Hank Ketcham. Dennis is portrayed as the helpful menace that always seemed to cause chaos. Dennis Mitchell lived at 627 Elm Street with his parents, Henry and Alice. Next door was his best friend, Mr. Wilson (though the feeling was, certainly, not mutual). Dennis always was around to help Mr. Wilson whether he wanted the help or not. The allure of the series was to see how Dennis would unintentionally mess things up for Mr. Wilson. The series lasted four seasons, but, perhaps, could have lasted longer. Joseph Kearns, the actor who portrayed Mr. George Wilson, died during the show's third season. This left a huge void that even veteran actor Gale Gordon (Mr. John Wilson) couldn't fill. He was introduced toward the end of the third season, and the series was cancelled the following year. Main Title Theme Song "Dennis the Menace" by Irving Friedman CBS Broadcast History October 4, 1959 - September 22, 1963 ---- Sundays ---- 7:30 - 8:00 P.M. Nielsen Ratings - Top 30 Season 1 (1959-60) 16 (26.0) Season 2 (1960-61) 11 (26.1) Season 3 (1961-62) 17 (23.8) Season 4 (1962-63) Not In Top 30 First Telecast: October 4, 1959 Last Telecast: July 7, 1963 Episodes: 146 black-and-white episodesmoreless
  • 30
    The Mickey Mouse Club

    The Mickey Mouse Club

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    ABC (ended 1959)
    "Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?" Next to Howdy Doody (which it helped unseat), The Mickey Mouse Club was the defining children's television program of the 1950's. The show, which aired daily, featured a true variety of entertainment: singing, dancing, guest stars, classic Disney cartoons, serials, and a group of talented kids who became overnight sensations—the Mouseketeers. Led by adult leader Jimmy Dodd, and flanked by hefty Disney animator Roy Williams, the Mouseketeers sang and danced their way into the hearts of the first TV generation.

    The standout of the group was Annette Funicello. Young America watched as the lovely and talented teenaged beauty developed before their very eyes. Annette soon starred in her own serial on the show, and went on to a successful career in film and music.

    Another popular element of the show was the serialized adventures of The Hardy Boys and Spin and Marty. Veteran Disney child actor Tim Considine starred in both, making him what many refer to as the "Honorary Mouseketeer." Other serial performers included Tommy Kirk, David Stollery, and Roy Barcroft.

    Days of the Week: Monday - Fun With Music Day Tuesday - Guest Star Day Wednesday - Anything Can Happen Day Thursday - Circus Day Friday - Talent Round-Up Day Theme Song: Who's the leader of the club That's made for you and me M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there You're as welcome as can be M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Mickey Mouse!

    Mickey Mouse!

    Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!

    Come along and sing a song And join the jamboree! M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Mickey Mouse club We'll have fun We'll be new faces High! High! High! High!

    We'll do things and We'll go places All around the world We'll go marching

    Who's the leader of the club That's made for you and me M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there You're as welcome as can be M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

    Mickey Mouse!

    Mickey Mouse!

    Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!

    Come along and sing a song And join the jamboree! M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-Emoreless
  • 31
    The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour

    The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour

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    CBS (ended 1960)
    "The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour" is the syndicated title of "The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show," a series of hour-long specials that continued the "I Love Lucy" saga. Housewife Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) lives in Westport Connecticut, with her bandleader husband, Ricky (real-life husband Desi Arnaz,) and their son, Ricky Jr. (Keith Theibodeaux.) Always nearby are the couple's best friends Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance.)

    Ricky's job as an entertainer requires him to travel a lot. As a result, he often takes Lucy, little Ricky, and the Mertzes with him to far-off places as Japan and Mexico. Ricky's career also allows him to meet many famous celebrities, from Betty Grable to Ida Lupino. Of course, when Lucy meets up with these celebrities, chaos naturally ensues. "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" premiered in 1957, and ended its run in 1960 when the two stars (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) divorced.moreless
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    The Gumby Show

    The Gumby Show

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    NBC (ended 1957)
    Gumby first appeared in the 1953 film short Gumbasia, (believed to be one of the first music videos). In 1956 Gumby and his horse friend Pokey hit the airways on The Howdy Doody Show in their first shorts in 1956. It was so popular that it became its own show in 1957 called The Gumby Show. The show contained the 1956 shorts along with new ones. Each episode contained 3 cartoons. In the 1960's Goo the blue mermaid, Prickle the yellow dinosaur, and Nopey the dog were introduced. The Blockheads sometimes chased after Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, and Goo with some scheme. Gumbo and Gumba were Gumby's Dad and Mother.

    The show stopped in 1967 due to problems in Art Clokey's family and another cartoon. In the 1970's Gumby was totally ignored. The 1980's brought back new life to Gumby with tons of toys and new episodes in a new series called Gumby Adventures in 1988. And a movie in 1995.

    Ever since Art Clokey created new episodes in the 80s, he dubbed out the original background music and character voices with new ones.

    Gumby is currently off the air. It was first shown on NBC through the 1950's till 1967. In the 1980's it was shown on Fox. In the mid-1990's reruns were shown on Nickelodeon. In the late 1990's it was shown on Cartoon Network at 1:00 am. It has been off the air since 2001.moreless
  • 33
    Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends

    Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends

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    Classic Media
    Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends is a classic early 1960s cartoon comedy show produced by Jay Ward Productions. The show ran for 5 years and aired on both the ABC and NBC television network. The show's two main characters are Rocky J. Squirrel, a brave flying squirrel and his best pal, Bullwinkle, a dumb and clumsy moose living in the town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota. The series usually involves their misadventures involving enemies Boris and Natasha, the dastardly Russian spy duo bent on ending the noble antics of "moose and squirrel" and thereby gaining power over the fictional nation of Pottsylvania. Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends also featured short bookend stories- most notably Dudley Do-Right, the clueless Canadian Mountie always saving damsels from the villainous Snidely Whiplash, and another bookend involving Sherman and Peabody, a boy and dog brainiac who travel through time to discover the real story behind historical events and right the wrongs to make sure the events actually happen. Fun, vintage and famous for using groan-worthy puns, Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends is great for kids and kids at heart.moreless
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    The Goldbergs

    The Goldbergs

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    CBS (ended 1953)
    "Yoo-hoo,Mrs. Bloom" calls each of us to the intimate daily gossip of this warm ethnic family comedy. Gertrude Berg starred in the show and won an Emmy Award for her portrayal of "Molly" the Jewish Mother who cared a lot about everyone.moreless
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    Speedy Gonzales

    Speedy Gonzales

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    The WB
    Speedy Gonzales is the famous Warner Bros. cartoon Mexican mouse part of WB's long running Loony Tunes. The toon mouse was created by Robert Mckimson and Friz Freleng (until redesigned by Hawly Pratt) and first aired in the 1953 cartoon Cat-Tails for Two. He was originally voiced by Mel Blanc, who created Speedy's famous call "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba (which is spanish for "Go on! Go on! Up!Up!). Speedy is always seen wearing a large yellow sombrero, a red bandana, and white shirt and pants. He gets is name from being the fastest mouse in all of mexico (though he runs faster than any human can too). There have been forty six Speedy Gonzales cartoons made so far, and many of the lovable Loony Tunes characters are featured in them - such as Sylvester the cat. The 1955 the Speedy animated short won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (cartoons). In recent years, the Speedy Gonzales cartoons sparked controversy for their depiction of stereotypes against latin americans, and thus taken off the air. However due to their popularity within the Latin community, they were brought back with a disclaimer.moreless
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    State Trooper

    State Trooper

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    NBC (ended 1959)
    Investigator Rod Blake of the Nevada State police works with the county sheriffs to catch the bad guys.
  • 37
    The Heckle and Jeckle Show

    The Heckle and Jeckle Show

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    CBS (ended 1971)
    Heckle and Jeckle are inseparable magpies (presumedly twin brothers), identical in appearance but distinguishably different in personality. Though both are remarkably witty, there are noticable differences between them, such as Heckle spoke with a Brooklyn (NY) accent, while Jeckle has a refined British accent. Together, they sought to con free meals and shelter especially out of the upper class, who in all honesty, presented little difficulty for the clever and mischievous birds.

    The synopses came from the Big Cartoon Database website. Deepest gratitude to whoever did these synopses!



    CAST:

    Heckle, magpie. Mischievous and witty, a tough bird with a Brooklyn accent.

    Jeckle, magpie. Heckle's twin who is also mischievous and witty, but is more refined and speaks with a British accent.

    Dimwit, hound. A hapless dog who is always the poor "victim" of Heckle and Jeckle.

    Spike, bulldog. Also a victim of the magpies, but tougher than Dimwit.



    YOUR HELP NEEDED! If you have a good screen-grab picture of Spike, I'd love to post it here! Please let me know if you do. Thanks in advance. (I have a screenshot of the dog, which in the comics was unofficially named Chesty. Copy and paste http://www.geocities.com/chris_30040/bulldog.jpg to see the shot, it's from the cartoon "Goony Golfers".

    Of additional note, a 1964 proposed cartoon, "Mechanical Trouble," was storyboarded but never animated.
    )moreless
  • 38
    Ernie Kovacs

    Ernie Kovacs

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    Ernie Kovacs was a visionary, and between 1951 and 1962 he broke rules that hadn't even been made yet and created a "language" that is now taken for granted.
  • 39
    Mayor of the Town

    Mayor of the Town

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    (ended 1955)
    Mayor Of The Town was a single season television series based on a radio show that ran from 1942 through 1949. Thomas Russell is the busybody mayor of Springdale, a fictional small American town. Because the show was syndicated, the episodes are not in production order or the original airing order, but are listed by the earliest known air date, usually taken from a regional TV Guide.moreless
  • 40
    Lux Playhouse

    Lux Playhouse

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    CBS (ended 1959)
    Welcome to the Lux Playhouse guide at TV.com This filmed series of light comedies, romances and melodramas alternated on Friday nights with the "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" between October 1958 and September 1959. -------------------- Production Companies * Lewman Productions Distributors * CBS Television ------------------------------- Release dates USA 3 October 1958 -------------------------------moreless
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