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Country of origin  Italy
Original language(s) Italian
Original channel Rai 1
Picture format Black-and-white
Original run 1958 – 1974

Canzonissima was an Italian musical variety show broadcast by Rai 1 from 1958 to 1974, with an interruption between 1963 and 1967, aired on Saturday evening except for the last two editions in which it was aired on Sunday afternoon. The program was referred as "the synthesis and model of comparison of the Italian television variety".[1]

The show consisted of a musical contest (with singers combined with some state lottery numbers) from the elaborate rules which were generally different from one edition to another; the competition was interspersed with dances and comedy sketches involving notable special guests.[1]

Most notable editions are considered the 1959's, which contributed to launch the Nino Manfredi's career, and the 1970s which launched the career of Raffaella Carrà.[1]

The 1962 edition, hosted by Dario Fo and Franca Rame, generated large political controversities due to use of censorship to cut some satirical sketches of Fo; the couple Fo-Rame was eventually fired, and the scandal lead to a long interruption of five years.[1][2]


# Year Presenters Winners
1 1958 Renato Tagliani with Walter Chiari, Raimondo Vianello, Lauretta Masiero, Scilla Gabel and Corrado Pani L'edera (Nilla Pizzi)
2 1959 Delia Scala, Paolo Panelli and Nino Manfredi Piove (Joe Sentieri)
3 1960 Alberto Lionello, Lauretta Masiero, Aroldo Tieri and Lilli Lembo Romantica (Tony Dallara)
4 1961 Sandra Mondaini, Enzo Garinei, Toni Ucci, Carletto Sposito and Annamaria Gambineri, with Paolo Poli, Alberto Bonucci and Tino Buazzelli Bambina bambina (Tony Dallara)
5 1962 Dario Fo and Franca Rame, then Tino Buazzelli, Sandra Mondaini and Corrado Quando, Quando, Quando (Tony Renis)
6 1968 Mina, Walter Chiari and Paolo Panelli Scende la pioggia (Gianni Morandi)
7 1969 Johnny Dorelli, Raimondo Vianello and Kessler Twins, with Sandra Mondaini and Paolo Villaggio Ma chi se ne importa (Gianni Morandi)
8 1970 Corrado and Raffaella Carrà Vent'anni (Massimo Ranieri)
9 1971 Corrado and Raffaella Carrà, with Alighiero Noschese Chitarra suona più piano (Nicola Di Bari)
10 1972 Pippo Baudo and Loretta Goggi Erba di casa mia (Massimo Ranieri)
11 1973 Pippo Baudo and Mita Medici Alle porte del sole (Gigliola Cinquetti)
12 1974 Raffaella Carrà, Cochi e Renato and Mike Bongiorno Un corpo e un'anima (Wess & Dori Ghezzi)


  1. ^ a b c d Aldo Grasso – Massimo Scaglioni, Enciclopedia della Televisione, Garzanti, Milano, 1996 – 2003.
  2. ^ Chiara Valentini. La storia di Dario Fo. Feltrinelli Editore, 1997.