Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Classic TV: The Andy Williams Show (1962)

If you grew up in the 60's, chances are you might've tuned to The Andy Williams Show at some point.

For me, it was during the 2nd run, which ended around 1971. I remember seeing those insanely silly Cookie Bear skits, which might've inspired Jim Henson to create Cookie Monster for Sesame Street. The Bear (Janos Prohaska in the suit, not sure who did the voiceover), as befitting his name, was always trying to mooch cookies from Andy or guests, and usually failing.

There was a period where Williams had cut it down to doing 3 specials a year before going back to a weekly format. That last weekly run aired on Saturdays, as I recall, and was replaced, if memory serves me correctly, by Emergency!.

One episode, billed as The Andy Williams Kaleidescope Company, aired recently on Get TV, and that's what prompted me to try to find some footage from the show. Here's a sample from 1966, led by the NBC Peacock intro.

Williams also had a hand in country satirist Ray Stevens landing his first TV gig, as Stevens was given his own show as a summer replacement for Williams near the end of the 2nd run. I think Barnaby Productions was Williams' production company, and also the name of the label Stevens initially recorded for.

Rating: A-.

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