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1950: 'The Garry Moore Show' Debuts
June 26, 2020  | By David Bianculli
 
Along with Perry Como and Dean Martin, Garry Moore was one of the most laid-back of all variety show hosts; Moore was as quiet as his jackets were loud. The Garry Moore Show — which debuted on this day in 1950 — lasted eight years on daytime TV, and six more in prime time.

Carol Burnett, one of Moore's many big talent finds, appeared on both the daytime and evening shows, but it was on his nighttime series that she made her big splash. Others who entered television through Moore's show included Don Adams, George Gobel, Jonathan Winters, and Don Knotts, who make his first appearance on the show impersonating CBS programming executive Harry Ommerle. (At the time, Knotts was as relatively anonymous as the man he was impersonating, so the trick worked beautifully. More than a decade later, Pat Paulsen would pull the same trick, just as successfully, by initially introducing himself to viewers of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour as a CBS executive.)

Most of those contributors to Moore's show made more permanent marks in later TV vehicles, and most of The Garry Moore Show has faded from cultural mass memory. However, some lingering traces remain, including the show's Candid Camera feature pieces and Moore's cohost Durward Kirby, whose name, at least, was saluted for posterity when a "Rocky and Bullwinkle" sequence featured an intelligence-increasing hat called the "Kirwood Derby." Kirby objected strenuously at the time — but that's only because he wasn't wearing his derby.

—Excerpted from Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television's 500 Biggest Hits, Misses and Events



 
 
 
 
 
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