Friday, June 3, 2016

What Might've Been: Strictly For Laffs (1961)

What if you hosted a party with several of your closest friends, and decided to bring a camera crew along to record the proceedings?

That, I think, was the idea behind Strictly For Laffs, an unsold pilot that was made in 1961, loaded with some familiar faces, including Sid Melton (Make Room For Daddy, ex-Captain Midnight), Jesse White, Rose Marie (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, Mel Blanc (The Flintstones, The Bugs Bunny Show, The Jack Benny Program), and some you might not recognize, such as Tommy Noonan, whose biggest claim to fame might be who his partner was in his nightclub act (future Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall), Willard Waterman (The Great Gildersleeve), Marvin Miller (ex-The Millionaire), and Alan Reed (The Flintstones).

Dave Barry, not the newspaper columnist, but a well known comic from the 50's & 60's, served as host.

It looked like the setting changed as the show wore on, which was not good. That might've killed the concept right there. However, a show about comics engaged in conversation, but about other topics that didn't require punch lines, would emerge years later in the form of Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect.

Rating: B.

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