What Happened To The Variety Shows Of The '60s And '70s?

By | September 15, 2017

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Left: Cher (center) and the popular musical group the Jackson 5 in prehistoric garb for a skit on the television variety show 'The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,' 1972. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images) Right: Tom Jones and Janis Joplin performing a du

Back in the '60s and '70s, it seemed like almost every well-known celebrity had their own variety show. They were goofy, groovy and sometimes great! With comedy, music acts, acrobats and sometimes ventriloquism, viewers tuned in to watch their favorite variety shows. With legends like Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin, Lawrence Welk, Andy Williams, Sonny and Cher, The Carpenters and the list goes on! Popular TV families like The Brady Bunch, Donny and Marie, Barbara Mandrell and The Mandrell Sisters (in the 80’s) and The Hudson Brothers were mainstays for singing and dancing. The Carol Burnett Show kept viewers in stitches with the hilarious antics of Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman and Lyle Waggoner. Singer and actor Glen Campbell had his Goodtime Hour, country music had Hee Haw, the hippies had psychedelic fun with Laugh-In, rock music had Midnight Special, pop music had The Captain and Tennille along with comedy provided by Flip Wilson in his variety show. They had popular celebrity guests on every week, even The Muppets had their own variety show with star-studded guests.

Some Variety Shows We Will Never Forget. Others We Can't Remember

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Dean Martin and The Golddiggers' on 'The Dean Martin Show.' -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

Singers and bands like Mac Davis, John Denver, Sha Na Na, Tony Orlando and Dawn had popular variety shows in the 70’s. Do you remember the mime duo and comedy of Shields and Yarnell?