The Cast Showoff: The plot was usually unimportant. No one cared if it got pulverized in the name of Funny.
Ear Worm: The majority of the episodes available on DVD and streaming services were salvaged from kinescope footage with the commercial breaks intact. note (In fact, one of the reasons kinescopes were even made in the first place was to prove to sponsors that their ads were shown correctly.) It turns out jinglesfromthe 1950s are just as ear wormy decades later.
At the beginning of the show, the announcer would plug the sponsor by naming a few Colgate-Palmolive products, with each mention being followed by the orchestra playing a snippet of their respective jingles.
Seasonal Rot: The show was initially a very strong competitor against Toast of the Town, but it began to lose steam in its last one-and-a-half seasons due to a variety of factors:
The 1954-55 season had the most popular hosts either appear much less frequently or quit to do other shows. The most frequent host that season was Gordon MacRae, a singer with no comedy experience. NBC also started preempting the show once a month to broadcast musical specials in color. There were attempts to keep the show interesting with special events (adaptations of Broadway shows, ice skating, air shows, etc.) and remote shows (originating from such places as Miami Beach, Chicago, Las Vegas and New Orleans), but they didn't help.
During the summer of 1955, the show was renamed the Colgate Variety Hour and hired Charlton Heston as temporary host after having difficulty finding a suitable host. He didn't last long, being replaced by Jack Carlson and Robert Paige at the start of the 1955-56 season. Clips from current films were shown in an attempt to boost the ratings, which worked as well as the special events. Not even a couple of appearances by Martin and Lewis could help. Colgate pulled the plug following the December 25, 1955 broadcast; the quickly cobbled together NBC Comedy Hour filled out the remainder of the season until The Steve Allen Show debuted on June 24, 1956.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Back in its day, it was the most expensive hour on television, with sponsor Colgate-Palmolive providing $3 million in the first year (about $30 million in 2015 money), but that's rather hard to notice when compared to shows that premiered a few years later, let alone today's shows.
Throw It In!: If something funny came up during pre-show rehearsal, it would often be written into the script. The live nature of the program also resulted in several unscripted ad-libs and incidents.