Ah, the Variety Show. A quirky mish-mash of musical acts and comedy sketches. Definitely the highlight of television entertainment in The Seventies.Then came Pink Lady And Jeff.As the story goes, in 1980, NBC head Fred Silverman saw a Walter Cronkite report on a popular Japanese pop duo called Pink Lady. Echoing a similar situation with Ed Sullivan and The Beatles in 1964 (Sullivan saw the Beatles in a Cronkite report and immediately booked them), Silverman thought that Pink Lady would be a HUGE success in the United States.So he gave the two members of Pink Lady, Mitsuyo "Mie" Nemoto and Keiko "Kei" Masuda, a variety show (also called Pink Lady), to be helmed by Sid and Marty Krofft, featuring Mark Evanier as head writer and seasoned variety show director Art Fisher as director.What could go wrong?Well, right from the beginning, the show was destined for failure. Mie and Kei didn't know a word of English, so the producers brought in comedian Jeff Altman (who was under contract to NBC) as a co-host. Mie and Kei learned their few English lines phonetically.Plus, the girls weren't allowed to sing the songs that made them popular in Japan, and were only allowed to sing covers of American disco hits. Which, if you recall your music history, wasn't a good thing in 1980.And wouldn't you know it, the show died after five episodes, taking the already-dying variety show genre with it. It gained a reputation as one of the worst TV shows ever.The Agony Booth eventually recapped all five episodes (plus a Missing Episode) in 2010. You can read their reviews here.
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