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Series: Colgate Comedy Hour

Dean: Max? So fly away? I don't get this.
Jerry: Well, your name is really Dean but I called you Max and I told you to fly away because Maxfli is the name of a golf ball and the sponsor doesn't want us to make any plugs.
Dean: We need the golf balls!
Jerry: Because we both play golf so send them to the house right away.
Dean: Maxfli!
Jerry: Oh, I can just see the sponsor now, squeezing all of the Colgate toothpaste out of the tube and he's screaming something awful!

A live Variety Show from the 1950's which was hosted by a rotating group of entertainers. The title refers to the show's primary sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive. The November 22, 1953 episode was the first NTSC color television broadcast.

Some of the most famous acts of the day appeared either as hosts or guest stars, including Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Jackie Gleason, Donald O'Connor, Charlton Heston and Burt Lancaster.

Lasted five and a half years before going off the air due to competition from The Ed Sullivan Show.


This series provides examples of:

  • As Himself: Sometimes the celebrities played a completely fictional character and sometimes they were this.
  • Butt Monkey: Jerry Lewis and Lou Costello typically assumed the role whenever they appeared.
  • The Cameo: An entire episode was spent building up to a 30-second bit by Jack Benny.
  • The Cast Showoff: The plot was usually unimportant. No one cared if it got pulverized in the name of Funny.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Often aimed at Jerry Lewis or Lou Costello during their appearances.
  • Crowd Song: In the musical episodes, along with everything else a musical usually entails.
  • Game Show Appearance: On September 18, 1955, the Season 6 premiere opened with The $64,000,000 Question, hosted by Hal April (Dean Martin) and sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive (naturally). Returning champ Morty M.M. Morton (Jerry Lewis) is forced to go for $32,000,000 and manages to survive... then is submerged underwater for the long-winded final question, leading to many ad-libs by Lewis.
  • The Host: Various entertainers shared the duty in a month-or-so rotation. Martin and Lewis were the only ones to remain in the rotation for the entire run of the show.
  • Improv: Some guests preferred to do this rather than follow the script.
  • Large Ham: Many, many of them.
  • No Fourth Wall: Though sometimes the performers would build one and then knock it down again, just for fun.
  • Rule of Funny: Very often the only rule there was.
  • Special Guest: The guest star(s) of the week.
  • Spiritual Successor: To vaudeville.
  • Throw It In: If something funny came up during pre-show rehearsal, it would often be written into the script.
  • Trope Co. Trope of the Week: Very common when the show was on the air.
Captain KangarooThe FiftiesDixon Of Dock Green
Cold CaseAmerican SeriesColumbo

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