The Colgate Comedy Hour
Season 4 - 1953-1954

Show biz veteran Jimmy Durante, late of All Star Revue, signed on as a regular host, joining the roster of Eddie Cantor, Martin and Lewis, and Donald O'Connor. Abbott and Costello were to have been included in the roster, but the latter comic took ill just before the November 11th episode and wasn't able to return until February 21st. A couple of special episodes were presented, including an adaptation of the Broadway musical Anything Goes and The Ice Capades. Guest hosts included Martha Raye, Perry Como, Ethel Merman, and Gene Wesson.

Series
#
Season
#
Airdate
Host & Guests
123
4-01
10/4/1953
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guest: Burt Lancaster, The Skylarks, Sidney Sillman, Fay McKenzie, Peter Leeds, Eddie Ryder, Byron Kane, Marc Platt, Irving Kaye, Frankie Branda, Suzanne Ames, Dona Cole, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Dean sings two songs, one on film ("You're the Right One" from The Caddy) and one live ("That's Amore"). Variety considered this Martin and Lewis offering "a good show but not from their top section."
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124
4-02
10/11/1953

Host: Jimmy Durante
Guest: John Wayne, Eddie Jackson, Jack Roth, Jules Buffano, Candy Candido, The Harold Stern Strings, Roy Bargy and his Orchestra
Note: Jimmy Durante debuts as a Comedy Hour host. He and guest John Wayne do a takeoff on Northwest Mountie thrillers.

125
4-03
10/18/1953
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Jack Benny, Connie Russell, Billy Daniel, Sheldon Leonard, Rex Ramer, Sandra Gould, Peter Leeds,Jack Boyle, Mike Ross, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This episode is centered around the impending opening of The Eddie Cantor Story. The show includes a tribute to comedian Willie Shore, who was to have appeared but was killed in a car accident on October 17. This was sort of a makeup for Jack Benny, who missed the June 7th episode due to illness. Both TV Guide and The New York Times list Eddie Fisher as a guest, but neither Variety nor UCLA (which has the actual kinescope) mention him.
126
4-04
10/25/1953
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Lauren Bacall, Elaine Stewart, Joanne Gilbert, Sid Miller, Tom D'Andrea and Hal March, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
127
4-05
11/1/1953
Host: Bud Abbott
Guests: Peggy Lee, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Gene Nelson, Jimmy Thompson, Pat Horn, The Pied Pipers, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Both Abbott and Costello were to host, but Costello fell ill the week before and wasn't able to appear. In place of the team's skits, kinescopes were shown of their past Comedy Hour performances. Martin and Lewis showed up to help out.
128
4-06
11/8/1953
Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Frank Sinatra, The Gay Tyroliers, Eddie Jackson, Jules Buffano, Jack Roth, Jackie Barnett, Wanda Smith's Cover Girls, Jan Arvan, Hy Averback, Charles Smith, Allen Henderson, The Mad Hatters, Roy Bargy and his Orchestra
Note: Jimmy sings "Start Each Day With a Song" and Frank sings "South of the Border."
129
4-07
11/15/1953
Host: Martha Raye
Guests: Irene Dunne, Cesar Romero, Rocky Graziano
Note: At the time of this episode, Martha Raye had a regular job hosting All Star Revue once-a-month on Saturday nights (replacing the three-times-a-month Your Show of Shows). Dubbed "the funniest femme on the teevee spectrum" by Variety, the comedienne brings along regulars Romero and Graziano (who plays her boyfriend). TV Guide lists Milton Berle as a guest, but The New York Times and Variety do not.
130
4-08
11/22/1953
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Ralph Bellamy, Corinne Calvet, Dorothy Dandridge, Sid Miller, Jack Albertson, Snag Warris, Phil Carris, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This was the first and only color telecast of The Colgate Comedy Hour. It was done as an experiment, as the new NTSC system developed by RCA (NBC's parent company) hadn't yet been approved by the FCC. The show originated from the network's Colonial Theatre in Manhattan.
131
4-09
11/29/1953
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher, Brian Donlevy, Harold Arlen, Connie Russell, The Debonaires, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Eddie, Connie, and Frank join Harold Arlen for a medley of his songs.
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The Colgate Comedy Hour, Vol. 1 [VHS] VHS
132
4-10
12/6/1953

Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Ethel Merman, Eddie Jackson, Keye Luke
Note: Jimmy and Ethel do several duets, and Ethel solos on the fugue from Call Me Madam.

133
4-11
12/13/1953

Host: Perry Como
Guests: Martha Raye, Ben Blue, Mike Mazurki, The Fontane Sisters
Note: Abbott and Costello were originally scheduled to host this week, but with Costello still ailing, Perry Como stepped in to substitute.

134
4-12
12/20/1953
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Charles Coburn, Sid Miller, Scatman Crothers, Jana Mason, Donna O'Connor (Donald's daughter), the Rose Bowl Queen and her court, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
135
4-13
12/27/1953
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Jimmy Durante, Donald O'Connor, Dennis Day, Connie Russell, George Gobel, Billy Daniels, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This is a "year-end salute to show business," with a couple of Eddie's fellow Comedy Hour hosts along for the ride.
136
4-14
1/3/1954
Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Paul Douglas, Eartha Kitt
137
4-15
1/10/1954
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: The Modernaires, Franklin Pangborn, Duke Art Jr., Birdie Brickerbrack, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra
Note: Dean sings "That's Amore," "Pretty Baby," and "It's Easy to Remember," and The Modernaires deliver "Crazy Man, Crazy."
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The Colgate Comedy Hour, Vol. 15 [VHS] VHS
138
4-16
1/17/1954
Part 1 - Guests: Alan Young, Stan Freberg, Frank Sinatra, acrobats Chiquita and Johnson
Part 2 - Bing Crosby Pro-Amateur Golf Tourney from Pebble Beach, CA; Guests: Lloyd Mangrum, Dean Martin, Phil Harris, Don Sherry; golfers Jimmy Demaret, Dutch Harrison (winner of the tourney), Peter Haig, Bud Ward, Doug Ford; baseball players Jerry Pretty, Ralph Kiner, Lefty O'Doul
Note: Lou Costello had not yet recovered from his illness, so this unusual format was substituted. Variety called it "a mishmash of vaudeo and sports that looked like a carbon of Toast of the Town without any of the latter's class."
139
4-17
1/24/1954

Host: Ethel Merman
Guests: Jimmy Durante, Gene Nelson, pianists Felix De Cola and Benno Rubinyi, Jan Arvan, Sid Marion, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Ethel sings "I Got Rhythm" and duets with Jimmy on "When You're Smiling." In a Paris sequence, Ethel plays a tourist and sings "I Love Paris" and "C'est Magnifique" At the end of the show, Ethel is presented with a Golden Globe award for her work in the film Call Me Madam.
With this episode, Pete Barnum replaces Sam Fuller as executive producer. Ethel uses Jimmy's production staff.

140
4-18
1/31/1954
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Groucho Marx; Wally Cox; Connie Russell; Billy Daniel; Ricky Vera; Ida Cantor; Marilyn Cantor; Jesse, James and Cornell
Note: Eddie brings his wife and daughter along for a celebration of his 62nd birthday.
141
4-19
2/7/1954
Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, Eddie Jackson
Note: Wearing a black wig, Jimmy conducts an all-girl orchestra, with Tallulah and Carol as vocalists.
142
4-20
2/14/1954
Host: Donald O'Connor
Guests: Beatrice Kay, George Prentice, Scatman Crothers, Sid Miller
Note: This episode, O'Connor's last for The Comedy Hour, features the entertainer's Las Vegas night club revue. RCA Vice President John West presents Donald with the Emmy award he won three days before.
143
4-21
2/21/1954
Host: Gene Wesson
Guests: Sonja Henie, Abbott and Costello, Keefe Braselle, The Jud Conlon Singers, Norman Abbott, Carolyn Jones, Joyce Jameson, Mike Ross, Glenn Strange, Will J. White, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: This was Lou Costello's first appearance on the show since his illness. He does a sketch with Bud in which he encounters both Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange reprising his role from A&C Meet Frankenstein) and the Creature From the Black Lagoon. In one of her earliest TV roles, Carolyn Jones appears in a sketch about what would happen if coffee were outlawed. Keefe Braselle played the title role in The Eddie Cantor Story.
144
4-22
2/28/1954
"Anything Goes"
Guests: Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Bert Lahr, Sheree North, Arthur Gould-Porter, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This is an adaptation of a Broadway musical that opened in 1935 and starred Ethel Merman. It was written by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse and featured songs by Cole Porter. The producer of this version is Jule Styne, and the executive producer is Leland Hayward.
Buy This Episode -
The Colgate Comedy Hour, Vol. 3 [VHS] VHS
145
4-23
3/7/1954
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Jack Palance, Brandon de Wilde, Eddie Fisher, Billy Daniel, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: Guests Hepburn, Holden, Palance, and de Wilde were winners of the annual Look Motion Picture Achievement Awards. Awards to Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra were cut when the show ran over.
146
4-24
3/14/1954
Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Eddie Cantor, Robert Montgomery, Patrice Munsel, Marion Colby, Eddie Jackson, Jules Buffano, Jack Roth, Roy Bargy and his Orchestra
Note: Durante presents his original opera Inka Dinka Doo. He and Cantor switch roles in a "Maxi the Taxi" type segment where Jimmy plays the driver.
147
4-25
3/21/1954
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Les Paul and Mary Ford, dancers Janik and Arnaut, Fred Darian, The Pied Pipers, Veola Vonn, Norman Abbott, Helen Eby-Rock, Evelyn Russell, Harry Mendoza, Danny Richards Jr., Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Note: This was Lou Costello's first appearance as host since his illness.
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3/28/1954
Pre-empted by The General Foods Anniversary Show, featuring highlights from Rodgers and Hammerstein shows
148
4-26
4/4/1954
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Acrobatic dancers Chiquita and Johnson, Connie Russell, Billy Daniel, tenor Manolo Mera, Ricky Vera
Note: This episode featured The Eddie Cantor Follies of 1954.
149
4-27
4/11/1954
Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Liberace, Marilyn Maxwell, Ben Wrigley, Eddie Jackson, George Liberace
150
4-28
4/18/1954

Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Jane Russell, Rhonda Fleming, Connie Haines, Beryl Davis, Tony Martinez, Baby Mistin, Nestor Paiva, Benny Rubin, Jim Hayward, Dick Parks, Frank Richards, Mike Ross, Jack Shea, Ken Mayer, Donna Kaye, Bobby Barber, Al Goodman and his Orchestra
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Bud and Lou tangle with the government of "Bolomania."
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151
4-29
4/25/1954
"The Ice Capades of 1954"
Guests: Donna Atwood, Bobby Specht, Herb Shriner, the Old Smoothies, Jackson and Lynam, the Maxsons, Sonya Kaye, Forgie and Larson, Helen Davidson, Paul Castle
Note: This episode originated from the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Worth, TX.
152
4-30
5/2/1954
Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: Dick Humphreys, Gretchen Houser, The Treniers, Marvin Seed, Robert Carson, Frances Farwell, Helen Eby-Rock, Henry Slate, John Harmon, Charles Williams, Bobby Fain
Announcer: Hal Sawyer
Note: Dean and Jerry celebrate their 8th anniversary as a team and recount how they first met.
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153
4-31
5/9/1954
Host: Jimmy Durante
Guests: Shelley Winters, Eddie Jackson, Linda the trapeze star, Kirkman the magician, Pansy the horse, stilt walker Harold De Garro, juggler Wally Blair, Art Larue and his dogs, George Perkins and his crazy car
Note: In this circus-themed episode, Durante's last for The Comedy Hour, Jimmy plays a clown in love with Shelley the lion tamer.
154
4-32
5/16/1954
Host: Eddie Cantor
Guests: Milton Berle; Eddie Fisher; Connie Russell; Andre, Andree and Bonnie
Note: Eddie Cantor uses his final Comedy Hour to celebrate and reminisce about his 45 years in show business. Eddie Fisher sings Young at Heart and Green Years; Connie sings My Man.
155
4-33
5/23/1954
Hosts: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Guests: Hoagy Carmichael, Peggy Lee, Ricky Vera, The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, The Pied Pipers, Peter Leeds
Note: Peggy sings "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and "Johnny Guitar." Sauter and Finegan perform "Midnight Sleigh Ride" and "Holiday."
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156
4-34
5/30/1954

Hosts: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Guests: The Skylarks, Tom Ache-Latt, Sylvia Nift, Barney Holton, Phil Seatcover, The Nick Castle Dancers, Mary Ellen Kay, Byron Kane, Paul Power, Dick Stabile and his Orchestra

Note: Variety thought the music in this outing was superior to the comedy sketches. The boys do "That's Entertainment" (with special lyrics by Sammy Cahn) and "A Shine on Your Shoes" from The Bandwagon and "Every Street's a Boulevard In Old New York" and "Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket" from their upcoming musical film Living It Up. In one sketch, Dean is a newlywed and Jerry an annoying bellboy, and in another, Dean runs a lonely hearts club with Jerry as a new member (and Dean's uncle Leonard Barr in a bit part). Jerry goes it alone when he conducts The Skylarks singing "Danny Boy." Vocalist Fran Warren appears in a filmed Halo Shampoo commercial.

Replaced for the summer by The Colgate Summer Comedy Hour

Copyright 2005 by Jim Davidson. All Rights Reserved.