TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "Your Show of Shows" from NBC (early-1950s)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Shawm Kreitzman'
Length - 12:45

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

"Your Show of Shows" was one of the most celebrated comedy programs of the early-TV era. Airing on NBC from 1950-1954, it starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, was produced by Max Liebman, and served as a training ground for performing arts talent such as Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Neil Simon. It was one of the first comedy sketch programs, and as such it laid the ground for later shows like "Laugh-In" and "Saturday Night Live". Because it was the early-1950s, "Your Show of Shows" was a live program, and Coca and others associated with it have discussed how this was a vital ingredient in the show's comedy mix.

The clip above is a sketch about a husband and wife's bickering about the husband forgetting about the wife's birthday (Caesar and Coca often portrayed married couples). The sketch displays the duo's skill at executing a scene that has looping emotional arcs as the two characters spiral back and forth among being angry, put-upon, wounded, resentful, and tender as they trade places several times in terms of which is the victim and which is the perpetrator.

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