Monday, June 12, 2017

Forgotten TV: The Lola Falana Show (1976)

Four years after being Bill Cosby's sidekick, singer-dancer-actress Lola Falana landed her own show on CBS. Veteran producer Allan Blye, working without long-time producing partner Chris Bearde (who was off working with Chuck Barris on The Gong Show), teamed with Bob Einstein, aka Super Dave Osborne, to steer the Good Ship Falana. Unfortunately, this didn't last very long, just a few weeks.

The series opens with a parody of To Tell The Truth with featured guests Muhammad Ali and Hal Linden (Barney Miller). Ali shows us some hidden talent at the piano. Linden plays a corrupt sheriff who brings in a suspect (Pat Morita, Happy Days), then, in the next skit, sings a duet with Falana.

Announcer-repertory player Peter Cullen, better known today as a voice actor, had the same gig on The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show 2 years earlier. Blye also brought along Murray Langston (aka the Unknown Comic) as part of Falana's repertory company.

Let's take a look at the opener:



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