The Colgate Comedy Hour
Season 3 - 1952-1953

Following a mild heart attack just after his first show of the season, Eddie Cantor stayed out of commission for several months. The following week, another catasrophic event caused the show to be knocked off the air in most of the country.

The Comedy Hour commemorated its 100th episode on March 22, 1953, while on June 7th Cantor and his wife Ida celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Guest hosts included Judy Canova, Ray Bolger, Ben Blue, and The Ritz Brothers.

Host & Guests
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Rosemary Clooney, Danny Arnold, Sara Berner, Harvey Birdbox, Harry Lang, Elsie Baker, Joseph Waring, George Milan, Byron Kane, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
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Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Dorothy Lamour, Eddie Fisher, The Will Mastin Trio starring Sammy Davis Jr., Sharon Baird, Tom D'Andrea and Henry Slate, Sid Fields, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Cantor suffered a mild heart attack a few hours after this show aired and stayed in the hospital until November 11. He didn't return to The Comedy Hour until January 18, 1953.

Due to a three-hour delay caused by a walkout of NBC's engineers in Hollywood, this week's show, starring Donald O'Connor with guests Ben Blue, Broderick Crawford, and Lisa Kirk, was only seen locally in Los Angeles and on a few west coast stations. The show was kinescoped and aired on the full network three weeks later.

Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Fred MacMurray, Connie Haines, The Clark Brothers, Les Brown and his Band of Reknown
Note: Variety called this Hope's "best video show to date," with lots of jokes about the then-current presidential campaign.
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Lizabeth Scott, Gisele MacKenzie, The Four Pipers, acrobats Les Dassie, Sid Fields, Dudley Dickerson, Milt Bronson, Bobby Barber, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Variety didn't like this episode, calling it "a comedy show lacking in comedy." Gisele sings Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" and "Because You're Mine," one of Nat King Cole's many hits.
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Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Ben Blue, Broderick Crawford, Lisa Kirk, Sid Miller, Andy Clyde, Chester Conklin, Eddie Gribbon, Scatman Crothers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This was a kinescope of a live show that had aired locally in Los Angeles three weeks earlier. On this date (October 26), Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBH aired The Big Payoff instead.
Host: Judy Canova
Guests: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cesar Romero, Liberace, Hans Conreid, Carl Ravazza, The Lancers, Charles Dent and his Orchestra
Note: Skits include an encounter between country girl Canova and refined city lady Gabor in a Pullman berth, Judy taking a screen test, and a TV version of Judy's radio skit Maw and Paw.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Rosemary Clooney, Bill Goodwin, The Step Brothers, Les Brown and his Band of Reknown
Note: Rosie sings "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and "A Most Unusual Day" and joins Bob for "Two Sleepy People."
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guest: Ann Sheridan, The Bell Sisters, Patti Moore, Ben Lessey, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Sid Miller
Note: The Bell Sisters sing "There's a Ship Comin' In."
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guest: Peggy Lee, dancers Fisher and Ross, acrobats The Shaller Brothers
Note: Peggy sings "Lover" and "Sans Souci."
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Kitty Kallen, Robert Strauss, Danny Arnold, Peppy Mano, Goldcup and Bird, Rose Plumer, Max Palmer, Joan Shawlee, Byron Kane, Joseph Leon, Steve Calvert, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Dean sings "There Goes My Heart" and "Louise" while Jerry sings "Because of You." The two team up for "You'll Never Get Away." Kitty sings "Almost Like Being in Love" and "St. Louis Blues." Dean and Jerry announce that they'll be back on December 28, but that didn't happen.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Tony Martin, Frances Langford
Note: Bob, Tony, and Frances sing "A Fine Romance." While complaining about poor writing in the sketches, Variety felt, "It seems that Hope generally does better on his standup comedy. His opening remarks had charm and wit."
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Margaret Whiting, The Nicholas Brothers, dancers Buster Shaver and Olive, acrobats Tom and Jerry, The Four Pipers, Sid Fields, Dorothy Granger, The Hollywood Stunt Group, Gordon Jones, Jack Lomas, Bobby Barber, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: In this holiday-themed episode, Lou sings "White Christmas," accompanied by The Four Pipers and Al Goodman's Orchestra. Bud and Lou do their "Scalp Treatment" and "Return the Christmas Gifts" routines, while Margaret sings "Gypsy in My Soul" and "Why Don't You Believe Me?"
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Host: Ray Bolger
Guests: Risė Stevens, Betty Kean, Billy Sands, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Christmas is the theme again, and Ray dances to "Once in Love With Amy," "The Old Soft Shoe," and "Stars and Stripes Forever" and performs a sketch about the home life of a window dresser with Betty Kean. Risė sings "The Gypsy Song" from Carmen and teams up with Ray for a review of dance fads. For this substitute hosting stint, Ray borrows several members of Martha Raye's All Star Revue team, including producer Leo Morgan, writer-director Nat Hiken, and writer Billy Friedberg. This show originated from New York.

Host: Ben Blue
Guests: Phil Harris, Hedy Lamarr, Peggy Lee, Al Goodman and his Orchestra; cameo by Donald O'Connor
Note: In the opening, O'Connor appears briefly to introduce Blue. Variety called this one of the host's "better shows he's done" but felt that four numbers in a row by Phil Harris were "just too much to take." The journal also noted that Blue's spoof of Hollywood spy thrillers was nearly identical to one Sid Caesar did the night before on Your Show of Shows.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Marilyn Maxwell, Jack Buchanan, Don Cherry
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Victor Borge, Allan Jones, Gisele MacKenzie, Grace Hartman, Sid Fields, Harry Lang, The Four Pipers, R. J. Otis and Abner, Bobby Barber, The Hollywood Stunt Group
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: The theme of this episode, set in Washington, DC, is the Eisenhower inauguration (which occurred nine days later). Gisele performs her hit "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes," while Allan sings "So In Love" and a medley of "Falling In Love With Love," "Make Believe," and "The Donkey Serenade."
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Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Dinah Shore, Joel Grey, Arnold Stang, The Tokayers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: This was Cantor's first episode since his heart attack. The ad in The New York Times carried the headline, "Eddie Bounces Back!" and called the host "Eddie the Unconquerable." While Eddie appears live in the introductions, his main segments - including a "Maxi the Taxi" skit with Arnold Stang - are on film to avoid taxing him too much.


Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Connie Russell, Ray Malone, Danny Arnold, Ira Grossel, Bernie Schwartz, Peppy Willow, Ralph Stantley, Ladd Lyon, Pat Shay, Gordon B. Clark, Ruth Saville, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Recuperating from a knee injury sustained when he fell from a motor scooter, Jerry does the entire show sitting down. In place of new sketches, clips from previous episodes are shown.
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Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Nelson Eddy, Margaret Whiting, Marion Colby, The Blackburn Twins, Bob Sweeney, Monte Montano
Host: Ben Blue
Guests: June Havoc, Bob Crosby, Mimi Benzell, Sid Fields, Snag Werris, The Sportsmen
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Connie Russell, Frank Loesser, Billy Daniel, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Sara Berner, Sharon Baird, Danny Richards, Frank Jenks, Ben Wrigley, Ray Kellogg, Sid Fields, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Sara Berner (in a filmed sequence) is the "Maxi the Taxi" passenger this time around, and the show's finale consists of a medley of Frank Loesser's songs. Also featured is a clip from the Danny Kaye film Hans Christian Andersen.
Hosts: The Ritz Brothers
Guests: Kay Starr, Corinne Calvet, Jack Webb, Coleen Gray, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Kay sings "Kay's Lament" and "Waiting at the End of the Road."
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Constance Moore, Robert Alda, George Jessel
Note: This was Bob Hope's third night in a row celebrating his 15 years with NBC on radio and TV, following a Friar's club banquet at the Waldorf Hotel on February 27 and an All Star Revue episode hosted by George Jessel on February 28. Featured in this Comedy Hour appearance was a film clip from the Friar's event. "As a standup comic, Hope has few peers," noted Variety. "When Hope is in form, his innate smoothness and charm are virtually sufficient to carry a show with little outside help."
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Hedy Lamarr, Marilyn Maxwell, Cecil Kellaway, Sid Miller, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Scatman Crothers, Phil Garris
Note: Donald performs "When You Bump into Someone You Know," "Dreaming," and "The Continental," and Marilyn sings "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues." Donald and Cecil team up on an Irish pub sketch and Hedy joins them for a spoof of Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming. D'Andrea and March do their usual G.I. routine.

Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: George Jessel, Connie Russell, Billy Daniel, Danny Richards Jr., Sharon Baird, Bob Sweeney, Harry Ruby, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: The New York Times ad for this episode informed readers that "Eddie Cantor and George Jessel appear together for the first time in 21 years." In Variety's words, it "gravitated between the uncorny nostalgic and the up-to-date rib exchange, with the score about even as the jury deliberated." Connie sings "Gonna Live Till I Die" and "Because You're Mine."

Hosts: Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Donald O'Connor, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guest: Sid Miller
Note: Though referred to as the 100th telecast of The Colgate Comedy Hour, this was actually the 110th. (They probably didn't count the episodes sponsored by Frigidaire.) NBC trotted out all of the then-current regular hosts for a truly all-star cast, described in an ad as "a million dollars worth of talent." According to Variety, it "played like a benefit, each of the comics allotted their own segment for their familiar turns, with no attempt to integrate the talent or augment the layout with production furbelows."
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Rosemary Clooney, The Bell Sisters; cameo by Mickey Rooney
Note: Ironically, Rosie's rendition of "I Haven't Got a Worry To My Name" was temporarily interrupted by a malfunction in the Hollywood-to-New York cable line. The Bell Sisters sing "Do It Again" and are joined by Bob on "June Night."

Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Vivian Blaine, Brian Aherne, Sid Miller, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Scatman Crothers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Vivian sings "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Blues in the Night." Donald dances to "It's a Lovely Day Today."

Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Gloria Grahame, Connie Russell, The Will Mastin Trio starring Sammy Davis Jr., The Billy Daniel Dancers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra; cameo by songwriters Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkin
Note: Variety noted that Eddie approached this show "with his old-time vigor, showing no signs of his recent illness. Unlike a couple of his previous Colgate shows on which he used some filmed sequences, this stanza was all live with Cantor very much in the foreground as emcee and performer." Gloria is Eddie's passenger in the "Maxi the Taxi" skit. The finale is a tribute to songwriter Vincent Youmans.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Phil Harris, Marilyn Maxwell, Les Brown and his Band of Reknown
Note: Variety praised Hope's work in this show, calling it "some of his best TV material to date."
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Hoagy Carmichael, Teresa Brewer, acrobats The Amin Brothers, The Four Pipers, Sid Fields, Michael Ross, Jack Lomas, Sherry Morland, Evelynne D'Smith, Sid Marion, Bobby Barber, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Bud and Lou celebrate the opening of their film Abbott and Costello Go To Mars. Teresa sings "Till I Waltz Again With You" and "Dancing With Someone," while Hoagy does a medley of his songs.
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Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guest: Mary McCarty; Benny Rubin; Sheldon Leonard; Danny Arnold; Fay McKenzie; Sol Seeltime; Wheel, Bird & Wheel; Phil Tead; Frank Nelson; Jack Kruschen; Donald Lawton; Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Dean sings "Your Cheatin' Heart," and "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' Along."
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Jan Peerce, Connie Russell, Billy Daniel, singer Si Milano, ballerina Nancy Crompton, pianist John Robertson, the voice of Mel Blanc, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: In a filmed "Maxi the Taxi" sequence, Eddie's fare is Bonzo the chimp, with voice supplied by Mel Blanc. Also on the bill, Eddie introduces several young entertainers.
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Nelson Eddy, Thomas L. Thomas, Beatrice Kay, Sid Miller, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March
Note: Donald does "Be a Clown" and teams with his guests for a spoof of corny musicals.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Don McNeill, Gloria De Haven, Rocky Marciano, The De Castro Sisters
Note: This show originated from the Blackstone Theater in Chicago. Gloria sings "It's the Same" and teams with Bob for the fugue from Call Me Madam.
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Patti Lewis (Jerry's wife), The Four Step Brothers, Danny Arnold, Sue Bird, Sylvia Seep, Jimmy Little, Marcia Walters, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra; cameo by Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh
Announcer: Don Pardo
Note: Patti sings a song with Jerry and then solos on "My Daddy, My Hero, My Love." Variety wasn't impressed. "There was no reason she rated a bigtime teleshow," the reviewer wrote, "other than this trick of nepotism." The show originated from the International Theater in New York.
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Ida Cantor, Dinah Shore, George Jessel, Ralph Edwards, Billy Daniel, violinist Rubinoff, announcer Jimmy Wallington, dancers Billy Daniel and Lita Baron, the voice of Mel Blanc (as a chimp), Ciro's owner Herman Hover, pianist Ticker Freeman, vocal group The Notables, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Eddie and Ida Cantor celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary surrounded by some of their best friends. Jack Benny was to appear but took ill the night before.
Host: Bob Hope
Guests: Rosemary Clooney, Frankie Laine, child dancer Honeyboy Watson, Les Brown and his Band of Reknown; cameo by Bess Myerson and Randy Merriman
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: This final episode of the third season originates from aboard the S.S. Los Angeles, with an audience of sailors. Rosie sings "Honey," and Frankie belts out "Your Cheatin' Heart." In one sketch, Bob plays a sailor who returns home to his wife after two years at sea. In another, Rosie plays a WAC and Bob a USO host, and they duet on "It's De-Lovely." In still another, Bob is a rich man whose wife wants to kill him and marry Frankie. Randy Merriman and Bess Myerson come out for a walk-on at the end of the show. They were hosts of The Big Payoff, The Comedy Hour's summer replacement in both 1952 and 1953.
Replaced for the summer by quiz show The Big Payoff

Copyright 2005 by Jim Davidson. All Rights Reserved.