Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Might've Been: The Morey Amsterdam Show (1948)

Most folks know Morey Amsterdam mostly from his role as comedy writer Buddy Sorel on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-6). However, 13 years before that, Amsterdam headlined his own radio & TV shows.

The Morey Amsterdam Show began on CBS Radio, then moved to CBS TV in 1948, lasting just four months before being cancelled. Network suits didn't see Amsterdam as a viable, marketable commodity. DuMont took a chance, and the show was relaunched in April 1949 for an 18 month run, ending in the fall of 1950. Amsterdam's supporting cast on both networks included future best selling author Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls) and Art Carney, better known for his Emmy winning, iconic role as Ed Norton on The Honeymooners, which launched a couple of years later. Here, in this clip, Carney plays Newton, the waiter at the Silver Swan Club.

After The Dick Van Dyke Show ended, Amsterdam would hit the game show circuit, including frequent appearances on Hollywood Squares, but did you know that Amsterdam was a point man behind Four Star's ill-fated revival of Can You Top This? in 1970? It's true. Not only was he a panelist on the show, but he was a producer as well! I'll have to pull that up sometime.

Rating: B-.

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