Well, being a child of the 50’s and 60’s, I can definitely say that I have been watching, absorbing and enjoying Comedy TV Shows pretty much since their inception. I can also say that, beyond a shadow of doubt, I have been heavily influenced by them and most probably they are partly responsible for me becoming an entertainer, which I have been for all of my life. With that being said, narrowing down my list will be next to impossible so I will just go through many shows I have loved, starting with the 50’s, work my way to the present and then try to compose My Top 10 List somehow.
Let’s Have Fun with Chuck McCann was a great Sunday morning show for kids and Chuck was a talented versatile performer. serienstream to The show was always entertaining and very funny.
The Ernie Kovacs Show was a very funny and groundbreaking show. The things they did editing-wise was way beyond the technology of the 50’s and Ernie was a comedy genius. He was taken from us way too early in a car accident. Who knows what he would have achieved if he had lived longer in a medium that was just in it’s embryonic stages.
Sid Cesar’s, Your Show Of Shows was a classic show whose form has been emulated ever since. The cast of writers are a literal Who’s Who in The Comedy World: Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart and Neil Simon to name a few. How could a show like that not be great, not to mention Sid Cesar himself. He was a great performer that was a genius at dialects.
The Jack Benny Show was a terrific show with a great cast of characters. Benny was the master of the ‘face’ and no one could milk a laugh longer with just a mere look at the camera more than him. The unique thing about the show was that the laughter most often hinged on the ‘Second Bananas’ that fueled the comedy of the show.
Amos ‘N’ Andy was a great show with such a array of characterizations. Kingfish was always scamming Andy someway, which was such a treat to watch unfold. Amos was the cab driver that narrated the show and there was Sapphire, Lightning and of course, Algonquin J. Calhoun. Unfortunately, the show was eventually pulled because of NAACP pressure of wanting to show Black Americans in a better light. It was a shame because the chemistry between Kingfish and Andy was priceless to watch.
The Red Skelton Show was a fun show of skits and characters that Red would perform with infectious laughter and was one of the first shows to have a weekly guest who would perform in the skits. You could tell by watching the show that Mr. Skelton was a sweet soul and he is dearly missed. He always ended the shows with, “Good Night and May God Bless”. Back at ya, Red.
The Original Tonight Show with Steve Allen was one of my favorite shows of all time. Steve created the Talk Show format as we know it today and had a cast of unforgettable characters that were used in many ways. Steve was a man of so many talents with a terrific laugh. I got the opportunity to meet him in Las Vegas once during a Comedy Convention and he was just as funny and gracious as I thought he would be.