Your Show of Shows
- For the 1929 movie, see The Show of Shows.
|Your Show of Shows|
Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar in a 1952 skit.
|Created by||Sylvester L. Weaver Jr.|
|Directed by||Nat Hiken
|Narrated by||Ed Herlihy (announcer)|
|Theme music composer||Mel Tolkin
|Opening theme||"Stars Over Broadway"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||160|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Original run||February 25, 1950– June 5, 1954|
|Followed by||Caesar's Hour|
Your Show of Shows was a live 90-minute variety show that was broadcast weekly in the United States on NBC (Saturdays, 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time/6:00-7:30 p.m. Pacific Time), from February 25, 1950, until June 5, 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca.
Other featured performers were Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Bill Hayes, Judy Johnson, The Hamilton Trio and the soprano Marguerite Piazza. José Ferrer made several guest appearances on the series. The series was telecast from the now-demolished International Theatre (also known as the Park Theatre) at 5 Columbus Circle and the Century Theater, now demolished, in New York.
The series was produced by Sylvester "Pat" Weaver and directed by Max Liebman who had been producing musical revues at the Taminant resort in the Poconos for many years prior. Caesar, Coca, and Liebman had worked on The Admiral Broadway Revue from January to June 1949. Writers for the series included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Danny Simon, Mel Tolkin, and Carl Reiner who, though a cast member, also worked with the writers. Originating from vaudeville, the series is historically significant for the evolution of the variety genre, by incorporating situation comedies (sitcoms) like The Hickenloopers; this added a narrative element to the traditional multi-act structure.
A common misconception is that Larry Gelbart wrote for Your Show of Shows; he in fact wrote for its successor program, Caesar's Hour, which was broadcast from 1954 to 1957. Likewise, Woody Allen did not write for Your Show of Shows, as he only worked on several Sid Caesar TV specials that debuted after it.
Carl Reiner has stated that the time he spent on Your Show of Shows was the inspiration for The Dick Van Dyke Show. Your Show of Shows also inspired the 1982 movie My Favorite Year, produced by Mel Brooks, and the play Laughter on the 23rd Floor written by Neil Simon.
- 1950-1951: #4
- 1951-1952: #8
- 1952-1953: #19
Most of the kinescopes of the series were discarded by NBC, and so few copies of the series survive. A 1973 theatrical movie titled Ten from Your Show of Shows featured ten sketches from the series edited together.
In 2000, original scripts from the show were found in a closet belonging to producer Max Liebman in the City Center building in New York City. The find made the front page of the New York Times. It is believed they were left there upon Liebman's death in 1981.
Syndication and DVD release
Reruns of surviving kinescopes were displayed by Comedy Central during the early 1990s. Skits from the series which are from Sid Caesar's personal collection are available on The Sid Caesar Collection DVD set.
- Your Show of Shows at the Internet Movie Database
- Your Show of Shows at TV.com
- Ten From Your Show of Shows (1973) at IMDB
- The Sid Caesar Collection