Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Morey Amsterdam Show

One of the great lost programs of early Television is The Morey Amsterdam Show, which ran from from 1948 to 1950 on the CBS and Dumont networks. Only a few fragments of these shows are known to exist today, because most of the kinescopes were destroyed.

The program was a showcase for Vaudeville/Burlesque veteran Morey Amsterdam to host a variety show as the emcee at a fictional New York City nightclub, the "Golden Goose Cafe" ("Silver Swan Cafe" in later episodes). Art Carney, Vic Damone and Jacqueline Susann made regular appearances.

Although probably best known as Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s and a frequent panelist on Match Game in the 1970s, Morey's real glory came in the 1920s and 1930s, where he worked as am actor, comedian and cellist in many theatres and venues, including a speakeasy run by Al Capone. He was sometimes billed as "The Human Joke Machine" because of his inexhaustible repertoire and ability to improvise.

View: Partial episode of The Morey Amsterdam Show, circa 1949

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