Gilbert Speaks On “Your Show of Shows

4 May


I’m working on a book about the two ghosts that live in my attic. It’s called Life with Fred and Lucy. While doing research on the shows that my family was able to watch on our 12 inch black and white screen, I came across one of my favorite childhood memories. It was called one of the greatest television shows of all times. What was television like in the year 1950? Meet me after the jump

Early Television

Your Show of Shows” was a live 90-minute variety show that included some of the best writers this side of comedy. The writers included such favorites as Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen, Selma Diamond to name just a few. But, it was combination of Imogene Coca, Sid Caesar, Howard Morris and Carl Reiner that made this show so memorial.

Sid and Imogene

Isaac Sidney aka Sid Caesar (1922-2014) was a comic actor and writer best known for two live television series: Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour. Sid began his television career on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater” in 1948. I was almost two-years-old at the time. Sid was more of a sketch comic as opposed to stand-up. His facial expressions spoke volumes and would often crack up his fellow comedians as they tried to complete a sketch in front of a live audience. His show featured satires of real life events and people.


Imogene Coca (1908-2001) began her career in vaudeville as a child acrobat. She later studied ballet and performed in many stage musicals and cabarets, but it was her career as a comedian that made her a household name. She, like Sid, used facial expressions to highlight each gag or skit. She and Sid were a comedy team made in heaven.


I was born at the best of times. Our old television sets might seem ancient to the millennials of today, but we boomers were witness to the golden age of television and comedians today owe their success to people like Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca.


I doubt there would be a “Saturday Night Live” if it wasn’t for “Your Show of Shows.” The old time variety shows are a great reminder that quality never goes out of style. Enjoy the show below.

2 Responses to “Gilbert Speaks On “Your Show of Shows”

  1. May 6, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Loved the pictures, i truly like the one of this image, perfect.

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