I don’t think Milton Berle was that great of a comedian, but he was the first celebrity to go on television. At that time, he was often labeled “Mr. TV”, because his program sold millions of television sets. Following is an entire 1949 Texaco show. I think as you watch it, you’ll realize how fortunate we are today as we enjoy all of technological improvements of modern times along with our contemporary actors and comics.
Texaco Star Theater from March 22, 1949
7 thoughts on “Bruce Caplan: Milton Berle TV Show 1949”
Berle worked his butt off putting those weekly shows together, plus his weekly radio show. He had to be one of the hardest working comics in the business at that time. My favorite comedian from that era was Jack Benny.
I loved Jack Benny too! I agree watching Berle 70 years later, he really was a fantastic talent! The Texaco guys were really great too!
To tell you the truth I never really understood Milton Berle’s appeal … other than the fact he was the first guy up to bat. Other TV comics of the era, such as Jack Benny, Sid Caesar and even original Tonight Show host Steve Allen were more to my liking. As far as television was concerned, Milton had at least a year head start on those guys. I was just a young kid at the time, but I just didn’t think he was all that funny. I don’t remember my parents thinking he was all that funny either. But this is just one man’s opinion.
When I watched him mid to late 60s, I watched his TV show for the rock bands that would appear…like the Raiders. I do recall I did like this ongoing bit where he was doing lame standup and there was this heckler in the back named Sidney Schpritzer. Hard to recall, but I think we heard the bronx type voice calling Berle a bum and worse and Berle would call him by name and they would interact
Steven ~ I had totally forgotten about that Uncle Miltie attempt at a come back on ABC Television from late 1966 to early ’67. One of those periods when I wasn’t watching much TV. I was more familiar with Texaco Star Theater he hosted from the late ’40s to 1956, which eventually became simply The Milton Berle Show … once Texaco dropped sponsorship. I recall he had Elvis doing Hound Dog in 1956. • I will say though, as a kid, I did like Arnold Stang (a small bespectacled comedian) who was a regular on the Berle Show. I thought he was funny.
I liked Arnold Stang. He was also in some episodes of a few sitcoms during the late 50s, early 60s.
Jason ~ For you … and for those who may not be familiar with the comedy of the diminutive Mr. Stang … here’s Arnold doing two different Chunky candy commercials (each running about a minute) :