Tuesday, May 1, 2012
FOUR KINGS OF COMEDY: HOPE, CROSBY, MARTIN & LEWIS - THE U.S. OLYMPIC TELETHON - NBC & CBS - CIRCA JUNE 21/22, 1952
As the clock counts down to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London,KINESCOPE HD flashes back to 1952, as amateur athletes from across this country trained to compete in the Games of the XV Olympiad in Helsinki. Finland.
In one of the television's earliest, and most successful, fundraising efforts, an all-star, coast-to-coast telethon was produced in living monochrome to help support the USA team's bid for the gold.
Simulcast on NBC AND CBS, and originating LIVE from the EL Capitan Theater in Hollywood, the variety rewiew was hosted by the two biggest stars in comedy and music, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.
This night marked Bing Crosby's television debut, but the evening... and the audience... belonged to the tumultuous young comedy team that exploded onto the stage, that night.The dapper pair made their reputation in night clubs, but were just starting conquer radio , television and films. In a few short months, they would achieve a rare status in show business: global domination.
Their names : Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
The performance captured in this clip, from the SOAPBOXPROD YOU TUBE site, can only begin to show the high velocity, high voltage,manic comedy that brought them iconic status in American entertainment.