The Comedian (Playhouse 90)

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"The Comedian"
Playhouse 90 episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 20
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Written by Rod Serling (teleplay)
Ernest Lehman (story)
Featured music Fred Steiner
(Music supervisor)
Production code 030
Original air date February 14, 1957 (1957-02-14)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Miracle Worker"
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"One Coat of White"

The Comedian is a 1957 live television drama written by Rod Serling from a novella by Ernest Lehman, directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Mickey Rooney and Edmond O'Brien.[1]

Opening narration[edit]

"Live — from Television City in Hollywood — Playhouse 90! Tonight starring Mickey Rooney, Edmond O'Brien, Kim Hunter, Mel Tormé, Constance Ford. On Playhouse 90 to introduce tonight's show, Miss Claudette Colbert." [Note: Claudette Colbert is the star of the following week's episode, on February 21, "One Coat of White"]

Introduction by Claudette Colbert[edit]

"Good Evening. Tonight, Playhouse 90 presents The Comedian, the story of a ruthless, but fascinating entertainer. The Comedian is the work of two distinguished writers, the author of the original story, Ernest Lehman, who has written the screenplays for such popular motion pictures as The King and I, Somebody Up There Likes Me and Executive Suite. The adapter, Rod Serling, whose long list of original television dramas includes the award-winning Patterns, Forbidden Area and Requiem for a Heavyweight. And now, The Comedian."


Rooney portrayed a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian venting his hysterical wrath on his brother (Mel Tormé) with Edmond O'Brien as a fading writer driven to the brink of insanity by the mayhem. The 90-minute drama was broadcast live as part of the anthology series Playhouse 90 on February 14, 1957.[2] The show was captured on kinescope and is available for viewing at The Paley Center for Media in New York City and Los Angeles. The show is also available as part of a 3-DVD set called "The Golden Age of Television," produced by the Criterion Collection. It is also available for viewing on Hulu.[3]



External links[edit]