Saturday, May 21, 2011
HI HO,STEVERINO!!! - RARE EPISODE OF THE STEVE ALLEN PLYMOUTH SHOW - NBC-TV - CIRCA JANUARY 1960
Steven Patrick Valentine Allen, better known to his fans and fellow performers as Steverino, was a video virtuoso and a television icon.
Steve Allen,the first host of NBC's TONIGHT SHOW from 1954 to 1956,was a prolific performer with a penchant for rapid fire ad-libs and a Renaissance man with a cultured and curious worldview.
The prodigal son of Vaudeville superstars Belle Montrose and Billy Allen, he authored books, songs, essays,and a Broadway musical entitled THE BACHELOR ( no relation to the lurid dating-reality show on ABC-TV).
That production yielded Allen his upbeat theme song, THIS COULD BE THE START OF SOMETHING BIG.His contributions to late night television are evident anytime you watch Jay Leno, David Letterman or Conan O'Brien.
In 1956, NBC executives, anxious to capitalize on his ratings success in late night, and in an effort to challenge CBS-TV's top rated, ED SULLIVAN SHOW, convinced Allen to host and produce an NYC-based, comedy/variety show that went head to head with the stoic Sullivan.
Allen's eclectic vision for the hour brought controversial comedian ,Lenny Bruce, polticial satirst, Mort Sahl, and the bard of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac, to American living Rooms in LIVING COLOR.
(Steve Allen & Lenny Bruce on NBC-TV)
Allen's fast-paced hour held it's own, but it was an engaging western-satire on the struggling ABC television network that dethroned Sullivan and outgunned Allen. The show was called MAVERICK, staring James Garner.
In 1959, Allen's sophisticated show was moved out of MAVERICK'S line of fire to Monday night's,with full sponsorship from the Plymouth motor division of Chrysler Corporation.
Here, from the MUSICOM67 YOU TUBE site are four clips that comprise one episode of THE STEVE ALLEN PLYMOUTH SHOW,produced for airing on NBC-TV,in January of 1960.Enjoy!!!!!