Season 1

The Colgate Comedy Hour
Season 2 - 1951-1952

With the construction of a nationwide cable line, it became possible for the first time to broadcast live from coast-to-coast. That meant that the show, which up to this point, had originated from New York, could now be based in Los Angeles. On September 30, 1951, The Colgate Comedy Hour moved from New York to the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, which had been completely remodeled for television.

It was also in the second season that bright young multi-talented Donald O'Connor joined the roster of regular hosts, while Abbott & Costello, who had filled in a couple of times previously, became regulars, as well. Guest hosts included Jackie Gleason, Alan Young, Danny Thomas, Ben Blue, and Herb Shriner.

Host & Guests
Host: Jackie Gleason
Guests: Johnny Johnston, Rose Marie, Esther Junger Dancers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra; cameo by Eddie Cantor
Note: Jackie does a Reginald Van Gleason bit and Johnny sings "You're Rockin' the Boat" from Guys and Dolls. NBC wanted Martin and Lewis to fill the leadoff spot this season, but they were busy shooting Sailor Beware in Hollywood and weren't available until early November. Gleason's hosting stints on The Comedy Hour and Four Star Revue, led NBC to offer him his own show for the 1952-53 season (at a rate of $300,000 a year). The deal was announced in Variety on October 17, 1951, but it eventually fell through, and as fans know, Gleason signed with CBS instead.
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Cesar Romero, Barbara Ashley, Robert Gari, dancers Jimmy Russell and Aura Vainio, Stanley Prager, Helen Wood, Bill Grey, Warner and McGuire, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Eddie opens with "My New York," a song about his hometown and its inhabitants. In one comedy sketch, Eddie tries to draw Cesar's attention away from the ladies long enough to get him to rehearse for the show; in another (based on the host's 1932 Kid From Spain movie), Eddie and Cesar play bull fighters. For the finale, the cast performs a medley of "songs to remember," including Eddie and Cesar dueting on "Carolina in the Morning" and Barbara singing "My Man."
Host: Spike Jones
Guests: Jan Peerce, The City Slickers, Helen Grayco, The Wayne Marlin Trio
Note: Helen sings "Mad About the Boy" amid much zaniness, courtesy of Jones and company.
Host: Ezio Pinza
Guests: Milton Berle, Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney, Martha Wright, Colette Marchand
Note: Ezio had hosted the season premiere of All Star Revue 15 days earlier. Here, he sings arias from The Barber of Seville, as well as "September Song" and "White Christmas." Uncle Miltie and Martha join him for "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." Variety felt the pairing of Pinza and Berle was "a mistake" and declared, "The mismating of the two talents contributed to the incohesive, lacklustre hour."
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Judy Kelly, pianists Martin Freed and Ernie Stewart, Sid Fields, Jack Slattery, Al Goodman and his Orchestra; cameo by Ida Cantor
Note: This was the first Comedy Hour to air live from Hollywood. Eddie performs many of his biggest hits, including "For Me and My Gal," "Makin' Whoopee," "Susie," "Ida," and "Bye Bye Blackbird."
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Ed Wynn, Arlene Dahl, Walter Catlett, Douglas Fowley, Mary Hatcher, The Ungar Twins, Sid Miller, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Donald O'Connor takes his first bow as a Comedy Hour host and uses the occasion to introduce his mother. Variety called O'Connor "a versatile performer" who was "adept at song, dance and delivery of his lines." But as it also noted, "He did well in his individual spots, but he hasn't reached the status where he can perform for the better part of the hour and get away with it."
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Gale Storm, Phil Regan
Note: Variety felt the hosts used too much familiar material and didn't feature their guests enough. "Bigger pauses between their sketches would have permitted Abbott and Costello to be more selective in their material and at the same time would have given this session more variety."
Host: Jack Carson
Guests: Robert Alda, Betty Garrett, The Honey Brothers, Hal March, Jack Norton, Peter Leeds, Tommy Wells, dancers Bud and C.C. Robbins, Dean Elliott and his Orchestra
Note: Carson does a substitute stint on the show. At the time, he was a regular rotating host on The Comedy Hour's sister show, All Star Revue, on Saturday nights. This was Betty Garrett's TV debut, and she sings "Boca Chica," a song she wrote with Sy Miller. Robert Alda sings the Italian love song "We` Marie," and Jack does "My Melancholy Baby."
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Cesar Romero, Sheilah Graham, Verna Felton, The Caprino Sisters, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This show has a "Hooray for Hollywood" theme. Eddie does a "Maxi the Taxi" sketch with Cesar and Verna Felton.
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Dorothy Dandridge, Danny Arnold, Bob and Eddie Mayo, Donald MacBride, Marion Marshall, Jimmy Wallington, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Note: Dean sings "Solitaire" and "Bella Bimba." Dorothy sings "Blow Out the Candle." Bob and Eddie Mayo dance to "A Night in Tunisia."
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Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Harpo Marx, Yvonne De Carlo, Roger Price, Sid Miller, Pat Patrick, Gale Robbins
Note: Variety liked this show, declaring, "The O'Connor stanza came off with an unpretentious pleasantness that bodes well for the comic's future." It also reported that in this, Harpo's TV debut, the mop-headed comedian chased girls, clowned at the keyboard, and played his harp.
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: George Raft, Louis Armstrong, Rosette Shaw, The Pied Pipers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: The theme of this episode, getting into the Army by mistake, is reminiscent of A&C's 1941 film Buck Privates. Louis plays and sings "Basin Street Blues."
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Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Cesar Romero, Eddie Fisher, Harvest Moon Festival winner Betty Graham
Note: Cantor does a "Maxi the Taxi" skit and a spoof of Quo Vadis, while Pvt. Fisher delivers a recruiting pitch for the Army.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Eddie Bracken, Marilyn Maxwell, Bob Crosby, Georgie Price, Toni Arden, Frank Faylen, Billy Daniel and Lita Baron, The Skylarks, Wally Blair, Joe Mole, Sid Marion, Pat C. Flick, The Rio Brothers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This show was a benefit for the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA). Variety noted the irony of doing a tribute to George M. Cohan, "a great entertainer but a violent anti-unionist."
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: The Nilsson Twins, Tom D'Andrea and Larry Blake, drummer Norman Brown
Note: This episode features Eddie's "show stoppers" and was telecast from the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California.
Host: Jack Paar
Guests: Alan Young, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Trigger, The Whippoorwills, Carmen Miranda, The Three Stooges
Note: Carmen performs "Quanto le Gusto," "I-I-I Like You Very Much," and (with Jack) "Mama Yo Quiero." Roy and Dale sing "On the Way to San Antone" and "Christmas on the Plains," while Dale does "Don't Ever Fall in Love With a Cowboy" by herself.
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Farley Granger, Bobby Breen, Sharon Baird, Stuffy Singer
Note: The premise of this Christmas show has Eddie adopting a son, played by Stuffy Singer. According to Variety, "The novelty of the situation was lost in a mess of over-sentimentality."
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Eve Young, Ray Malone, Danny Arnold, Margaret Dumont, Mike Mazurki, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
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Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Harpo Marx, Gale Robbins, Pat Patrick, Sid Miller
Note: Variety liked the "songwriters" skit with Donald and Sid and suggested that it was "almost good enough to serve as the foundation of a weekly series on its own." That's exactly what it became on O'Connor's own show on Texaco Star Theater (1954-55).
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Errol Flynn, Rhonda Fleming, Bruce Cabot, Sid Fields, Joe Kirk, The Pied Pipers; cameo by George Raft
Note: Rhonda sings "I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy" and "Don't Blame Me."
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Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Adele Jergens, Robert Clary, Jimmy Dobson, Shirley Mitchell, Doris Singleton, Sharon Baird, Herman McCoy's UCLA Swing Choir featuring Edna Craft, Michael Ross, Arthur Q. Bryan, Dave Alpert, Esther Dale, Robert Osterloh, Gil Herman, Al Goodman and his Orchestra; cameo by Kirk Douglas
Note: This show is a musical comedy called Cantor Goes to College, in which Eddie enrolls as a freshman at UCLA. In one of those mishaps that sometimes happen on live TV, soloist Edna Craft sings the first eight bars of "Someone to Watch Over Me" in the key of C, while the choir and orchestra are in E flat. Fortunately, she recovers by the second eight bars. Holocaust survivor Robert Clary (best known as Corporal LeBeau on Hogan's Heroes) was Eddie Cantor's son-in-law.

Host: Danny Thomas
Guest: Dorothy Lamour
Note: Thomas does a substitute stint in this and one later episode. At the time, he was a regular rotating host on The Comedy Hour's sister show, All Star Revue, on Saturday nights.

Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Corinne Calvet, Kay Starr, Ben Blue, Gwen Carter, Sid Miller, Frank Nelson, Bobbie Martin, Sid Slate, Jimmy Cross, Marie Cochran, Scatman Crothers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Kay Starr sings "It's a Good Day" and "Wheel of Fortune," and Donald introduces his five-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Frank Sinatra was to have been a guest but cancelled when he contracted a cold.

Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Ray Malone, Jill Jarmon, Danny Arnold, Sheldon Leonard, Mike Mazurki, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra; cameo by writer Norman Lear
Note: Dean sings "When You're Smiling." In a sketch, Danny Arnold (creator of Barney Miller) plays NBC-TV head Pat Weaver.

Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: The Will Mastin Trio starring Sammy Davis Jr., Reggie Rymal
Note: Eddie does a "Maxi the Taxi" sketch. This show originated from the Naval Station at Long Beach, California.
Host: Danny Thomas
Guests: Carmen Miranda, Grace Hartman, The Beatrice Kraft Dancers, Bunny Lewbell
Note: This was the second of two hosting jobs by Danny Thomas on The Comedy Hour.
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Broderick Crawford, Patricia Morison, Cecil Kellaway, Buster Keaton, Eddie Gribbon, Sid Miller
Note: Patricia sings "So In Love" and "Granada."
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Anna Maria Alberghetti, Martha Stewart, Georgie Tapps, Les Brown and his Band of Reknown
Note: This show originated from Camp Elliott, near San Diego, California, and the audience consisted of Waves and women Marines. The Martha Stewart who appears here is a singer/actress, not the famous homemaking guru.
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guest: Dorothy Kirsten, The Will Mastin Trio starring Sammy Davis Jr., Sharon Baird, Mabel Butterworth, Harry Von Zell
Note: This show originated from March Air Force Base in Riverside, California. Dorothy sings an aria from Louise, as well as "All Aone," and plays Eddie's passenger in the "Maxi the Taxi" skit.
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Danny Lewis (Jerry's father), Tommy Wonder, Margaret Banks, Danny Arnold, Elizabeth Root, Gail Bonney, Peter Votrian, Harvey Dunn, Ruth Dazzo, Sarah Bacon, Linda Williams, Evelyn Lovequist, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra; cameo by writers Ed Simmons and Norman Lear
Note: Danny Lewis sings "That's My Boy." Jerry holds up the April 22nd issue of Look magazine, featuring a photo of Martin and Lewis on the cover.
Host: Tony Martin
Guests: Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kay Starr, St. Paul Choir, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Tony sings "It's Great To Be Alive," "Begin the Beguine," and "Ave Maria," while Kay sings her hit "Wheel of Fortune." The two singers duet on "I Cried For You." Harpo plays his harp, and he and Chico goof around on the piano.
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Charles Laughton, Isabel Bigley, Johnny Conrad and his Dancers, Sid Fields, Joe Kirk, Milton Frome, Bobby Barber, Jill Kraft, Anita Anton, Alex Fossell, Helen Donaldson, Three Beaus and a Peep, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Abbott and Costello do an ice cream vending skit and try to borrow money from Jack L. Warner. Isabel sings "Our Love Is Here To Stay." This show originated from New York.
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Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Joe E. Brown, Constance Moore, Dave Barry, Sharon Baird, Los Gatos Trio
Note: Constance sings "Birth of the Blues," and Dave Barry appears with Eddie in the "Maxi the Taxi" skit. While it originated from the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, this show's studio audience was made up of Army personnel from Camp Irwin, an armored combat training facility northeast of Barstow, California.
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Andy Devine, Mindy Carson, Ben Blue, Sid Miller
Note: Donald does production numbers on "Guys and Dolls" and "St. Louis Blues" and a spoof of Barber of Seville. Singin' in the Rain had just been released and Variety noted that he was "currently riding the crest." It also said that he had "improved each time out on TV and his show last Sunday night was his best to date."
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Kitty Kallen, The Four Step Brothers, Danny Arnold, Harvey Wheelwick, Jack Fisher, Jack George, Peter Votrian, Lee Erickson
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Jerry does a hilarious impression of Marlon Brando as The Continental.
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Vera Zorina, Tony Bavaar, The Ashtons, Monique Van Vooren, "Sport" Morgan, Sid Fields, dancer Gemze de Lappe, Joe Kirk, Bobby Barber, Jean Cleveland, Charlie Bollinder, Three Beaus and a Peep, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Bud takes Lou to France for singing lessons, and they do their "Baccigalupe" routine. This show originated from New York.
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Hedy Lamarr, Tony Dexter, Martha Tilton, Sid Miller, Scatman Crothers, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Martha sings "Taking a Chance on Love," and Donald does a production number finale on "I Got Rhythm" (which Variety called "perhaps one of the most sizzling in Comedy Hour annals).
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Cesar Romero, The Szonys (Giselle and Francois), Rusty Draper
Note: Rusty sings "Just Because." Eddie sings a medley of old favorites like "Ain't She Sweet" and "'Swonderful" and finishes with "Singin' in the Rain." Though the show originated from Hollywood, the studio audience was made up of service men and women.
Host: Ben Blue
Guests: Ann Sheridan, Peggy Lee, The Step Brothers, The Whipporwills, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Though he had guest starred before, this was Ben Blue's first time as a Comedy Hour host. Peggy sings "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Where or When."
Host: Herb Shriner
Guests: Lily Pons, The Borrah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals with Johnny Puleo
Note: Lily sings the "Bell Song" from Lakme.
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Kay Starr, Pat O'Brien, Ida Cantor, Danny Thomas, Harry Von Zell, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Johnny Dugan, Sharon Baird, plus songwriters Harry Akst, Jimmy McHugh, Harry Ruby, Jay Livingston, and Nacio Herb Brown
Note: Eddie and Ida celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary in style. Pat O'Brien is the passenger in the "Maxi the Taxi" skit, and he and Eddie do a duet on "Harrigan." The highlight of the evening is the five songwriters accompanying Eddie, Kay and Johnny in a medley of their hits.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Paul Douglas, singer June Hutton, dancer Johnny Mack, Randy Merriman and Bess Myerson, Les Brown's Band of Renown
Note: This show originated from the Douglas aircraft plant in Santa Monica, California. Randy Merriman and Bess Myerson were hosts of The Big Payoff, The Comedy Hour's summer replacement, which premiered the following week.
      Replaced for the summer by quiz show The Big Payoff