1954: Last Telecast of NBC's 'Your Show of Shows'
This day in 1954 marked the last telecast of the NBC variety show, Your Show of Shows. The live, weekly, 90-minute show was filled with comedy sketches and musical and dance performances.
The show had weekly guest stars and a slate of regulars, but its breakout stars were Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, whose comic talents and timing resulted in memorable skits and characters, including the mismatched married couple, the Hickenloopers.
The show's writing team included Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen and on-the-rise writers Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Danny Simon, along with series regular and writer, Carl Reiner. In fact, Your Show of Shows (along with Caesar's subsequent series, Caesar's Hour) is just as well-known for its behind-the-scenes activity. The show's racuous writer's room was the inspiration for the Neil Simon comedy, Laughter on the 23rd Floor. The writers' experiences also influenced the Mel Brooks film (and later Broadway musical) My Favorite Year, and the Carl Reiner-created sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Here's a skit from Your Show of Shows, "The Clock":