The Ed Wynn Show

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CBS (ended 1950)

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The Ed Wynn Show

Show Summary

Ed Wynn was a show biz veteran, having been a success in vaudeville, on Broadway and radio. And when the new medium of television came along, he was perhaps the first "old timer" to make the leap.
Ed's character, the "perfect fool", was a giggling goofball who told awful jokes, wore bizarre clothing and usually had disheveled hair that stuck out at the sides of his heads. This seemed ideal for the new visual medium.
Ralph Levy, who went on to became a successful television director/producer, was sent by CBS to L.A. to direct the new series. He immediately ran into booking problems, as most name stars were either frightened by the new gadget, or unwilling to "stoop" to doing TV. Nevertheless, the show did end up with several "firsts", including the television debuts of Dinah Shore and Lucy and Desi.
The format was very simple and very vaudeville. Ed would do jokes, guests would come out and do songs and routines, and they all would perform in sketches. Though not a ratings success, the series did win two early Emmy Awards: one for Best Live Show and for Most Outstanding Personality (Wynn).
At the time, TV was based out of New York where shows were performed and fed live to the few stations that were interconnected. The rest of the country saw filmed kinescope copies of the shows, which were shipped out to stations on a delayed basis. The Ed Wynn Show was the opposite. It was the first network series to be aired live on the west coast and have the kinescopes shipped east, where they would air a couple of weeks later.
Ed would eventually find success in this new medium and in films as he transitioned into a dramatic character actor.moreless
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