Saturday, October 5, 2013

What Might've Been: The Ken Berry WOW! Show (1972)

A year after Mayberry, R. F. D. ended, actor-singer-dancer Ken Berry returned to television, this time trying to follow in the footsteps of his friend Carol Burnett by doing a variety show.

I had heard about The Ken Berry WOW! Show, and had seen commercials before it bowed in the summer of 1972. However, I never saw the show, never really had a chance, as it lasted only 5 weeks before ABC pulled the plug. WOW marked Berry's return to ABC, where he had starred on F-Troop (1965-7). Berry was backed by a few future stars, including Steve Martin, Teri Garr, and Cheryl Stopplemoor (aka Cheryl Ladd), the latter of whom had worked with Berry's actress-wife, Jackie Joseph, on the animated Josie & The Pussycats a couple of years earlier. After making the guest-star rounds--including frequent appearances with Burnett---Berry would return to series television 11 years later in Mama's Family, which was spun off from The Carol Burnett Show.

Last item before I step aside for the sample video. Before he arrived in Hollywood, Berry served in the Army. His commanding officer turned out to be pretty famous, too-----Leonard Nimoy. Imagine that. Mr. Spock giving orders to Lt. Parmenter!

Here's WOW!:

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