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Texaco Star Theater

Season 2 Episode 1

9/20/1949

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Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 1949 on NBC
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Episode Summary

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9/20/1949
AIRED:

Milton's guests for the season premiere include Duke Ellington, actress June Havoc, Phil Silvers, Howdy Doody, "Buffalo Bob" Smith, and Robert Keeshan (as Clarabell the Clown), comic actor Bert "The Mad Russian" Gordon, and the Stewart Morgan Dancers.
Berle opens the show in front of a huge banner that reads "Welcome Back, Mr. Television!" Silvers reprises his face-slapping singing lesson with Berle. Ellington performs "Sophisticated Lady" at the piano in a medley of his hits. Havoc sings and clowns around with Berle as a Kentucky colonel. In a take-off of The Howdy Doody Show, Berle and guests harass Buffalo Bob as members of the peanut gallery.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    Bob Smith

    Bob Smith

    (as Buffalo Bob Smith)

    Guest Star

    Bob Keeshan

    Bob Keeshan

    (as Clarabell the Clown)

    Guest Star

    Duke Ellington

    Duke Ellington

    Himself

    Guest Star

    Sid Stone

    Sid Stone

    Texaco Pitchman

    Recurring Role

    Fatso Marco

    Fatso Marco

    Series Regular

    Recurring Role

    Alan Roth

    Alan Roth

    Bandleader

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (4)

      • Per Weekly Variety 8/3/1949:  Berle begins the season with a new contract.  He'll get $10,000 a week this season, $11,500 for the 50-51 year, and $13,000 for 51-52.  Last season he was getting $4000 a week and that included both the TV and a radio show.

      • The review in the 9/28/1948 issue of Weekly Variety panned the episode, saying the series has become "too formula bound" and lacked "spark or a surprise."  It asked if, perhaps, the "Mr. Television myth assumed unrealistic proportions" or the show simply faced "not too weighty competition" in its first year. 

      • According to Milton Berle: An Autobiography, this is how his nickname "Uncle Miltie" started: Berle came out to do the close of this show and learned he had seven minutes to fill. While ad libbing, he recalled parents complaining about their kids staying up late to watch his show. He said, "Listen to your Uncle Miltie...and go straight upstairs like good lille boys and girls..." It stuck.

      • Yes, Berle is big! According to Time magazine 10/3/1949: Sindlinger research in Philadelphia found that 80% of TV sets were tuned to this Texaco episode; 3.6% to other shows.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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