Remember When

Those Fantastic Days Of The Fabulous 1950's
Remember These Prices?

Television  Of The 50's
The Golden Age Of Television Drew Large 
Audiences From The Local Neighborhood
The Beginning Of Television
The first thing you need to know is that there wasn't much of it.  Mostly, in the afternoons and evenings.  The second thing you need to know is was black and white.  Actually, it was various shades of gray.  Dithered, sort of.  And, ladies, just think of it, No Remote Control!!!!!!! 

We were enthralled.  This beat the heck outta radio. You became very popular, very quickly if your family had a T.V.

Our view of the world around us would forever be shaped by the images on the television.

The Fifties is known as the Golden Age of Television in large part because of the variety shows which dominated the early part of the decade. Variety was to the early Fifties what the Western was to the late Fifties.

Television variety shows of the period were just vaudeville on T.V.  Most of the performers had honed their comedic skills on vaudeville stages, and the shows were structured like vaudeville revues.  And, like vaudeville - these were live performances.

Because these programs spotlighted talent from many sources, they were the ideal springboard for fresh new faces - a place where the legends of the past gave birth to the stars of the future. Texaco Star Theatre ('51).  Call him Mr. Television or Uncle Miltie - there's only one Milton Berle. The show opened with these guys dressed like service station attendants singing "Oh, we're the men from Texaco, we work from Maine to Mexico." Berle's trademark "shtick" was appearing in drag. This show ultimately was revamped into the Buick-Berle Show, a toned down and less successful program. 

Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour ('48)
Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts ('50) CBS'sanswer to Ted Mack's Show. New talent would be discovered by "scouts" and although some were already unknown pros, many got their break here. Among them: Connie Francis, Al Martino, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, the Diamonds, Patsy Cline, Roy Clark and Steve Lawrence. But, nobody's perfect. Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly failed to impress in their auditions and didn't get on the show. 
Your Show of Shows ('50)
Sid Caesar and Imogene Coco were the stars. Carl Reiner, a regular, would use his experience with Caesar as material for The Dick Van Dyke Show. The writing staff included young talents such as Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart (M.A.S.H.).
"Dream Along With Me"... The Perry Como Show ('50)
Perry Como, Mr. Nice Guy, with the mellow, easy manner, enjoyed his biggest TV success in '55, when the show moved from CBS to NBC.
The Colgate Comedy Hour ('50)
Every big name in comedy or music appeared on this show which presented rotating hosts. Although thought of now as separate acts, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin were a very hot pair until personality conflicts broke them up in 1956. Other alternating hosts included Abbott and Costello, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, Donald O'Connor, Eddie Cantor and Fred Allen.
Your Hit Parade ('50)
Hosts Andre Baruch and Del Sharbutt showcased a wide array of enormously talented performers including: Eileen Wilson, Snooky Lanson, Dorothy Collins, Sue Bennett, June Valli, Russell Arms, Gisele MacKenzie, Tommy Leonetti, Jill Corey, Alan Copeland, Virginia Gibson, Johnny Desmond.
The Red Skelton Show ('51)
(Red created numerous characters which he used in recurring skits. Among these - Freddie the Freeloader and Clem Kadiddlehopper).
The Jack Benny Show ('51)
Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone (Benny's wife). Don Wilson, Dennis Day and Eddie Anderson as Rochester.
People Are Funny ('53) Art Linkletter. 
He did a wonderful bit with children called Kids Say the Darndest Things which has now been recreated by Bill Cosby.
The George Gobel Show ('54)
The producer/writer Hal Kantor would eventually be the Executive Producer of All in the Family.