The Best of The Danny Kaye Show (MVD Visual)

dannykayeWell written, and perhaps a bit ahead of its time, it stands the test of time due to the sheer talent of its host, cast, and writers, not to mention the star-studded list of guests.

 

The Golden Age of Television is long gone, making taking a glimpse back all the more enjoyble. In that review, we find the variety show rising to the surface of popularity. The Danny Kaye Show stands out among its contemporaries. Well written, and perhaps a bit ahead of its time, it stands the test of time due to the sheer talent of its host, cast, and writers, not to mention the star-studded list of guests.

Starting in 1963, The Danny Kaye Show introduced the American public to many different names, some of who went on to be rather big stars, if they were not already of that status. Yet most impressive is the host himself. In this age of TV, variety show hosts had to be a triple threat: singer, dancer, and entertainer all at once. One had to be much more multitalented than is required by today’s standards. (Let’s face it: Neither Jay Leno nor David Letterman can sing or dance.) Danny Kaye could do it all, and then some. Then there was the stream of stars who graced the stage with him, such as child star Jackie Cooper (as an adult), Gene Kelley, and a very young Michelle Lee (Knots Landing) singing her heart out with a surprisingly powerful voice. This was a different time for television, when one had to possess more than mere acting ability.

Then, of course, there were the ever-popular skits. With performances by cast members including Jaime Farr and Harvey Korman, the skits blurred the lines between Broadway and improvisational comedy, with such memorable acts like “West Side Umpire,” a cross between West Side Story and baseball, and The Baseball Man, The Music Man set to baseball.

This two-disc set is a fun look back to the days of television yesteryear. Danny Kaye and others like him (Jack Parr, for example) paved the way for their brethren in this entertainment genre. With a great cast, wonderful costars, and clever writing, The Best of The Danny Kaye Show is a must-see for TV buffs. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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