TV: ALL STAR REVUE

by Peter Tatchell (copyright 2010) 

U.S. television came of age in the latter part of 1950, when a significant amount of advertising dollar shifted from radio. As a result, top-line performers were enticed to the medium, but rarely to be seen every week.
Eddie Cantor conceived the idea for a regular weekly variety hour, but with the hosts appearing only once a month on a rotational basis. NBC agreed to the plan and The Colgate Comedy Hour was the result. (see the separate Laughterlog listing for details)
The format was also used for Four Star Revue, a weekly one hour variety show which aired on NBC Wednesday nights, with a performer line-up that included Ed Wynn, Danny Thomas, Jack Carson and Jimmy Durante.
A year later, top line names like Martha Raye, Spike Jones and Olsen & Johnson were added to the mix and the programme was retitled All Star Revue with a new timeslot on Saturday nights.
By the show’s third (and final) season, Durante was the only original still taking part, joined on the roster by such names as George Jessel and Tallulah Bankhead (following the demise of her Big Show on NBC radio). 

The following has been compiled through reference to the TV listings in The New York Times. Further details may be obtained by consulting the bound editions of VARIETY television reviews.

Series 1 (as FOUR STAR REVUE): NBC Wednesday 8-00pm (60 min)
October 4 1950   Ed Wynn
October 11 1950   Danny Thomas
October 18 1950   Ed Wynn
October 25 1950   Jack Carson
November 1 1950   Jimmy Durante
November 8 1950   Danny Thomas
November 15 1950   Ed Wynn
November 22 1950  Jack Carson
November 29 1950   Jimmy Durante
December 6 1950   Danny Thomas
December 13 1950   Ed Wynn
December 20 1950   Jack Carson
December 27 1950   Jimmy Durante
January 3 1951   Danny Thomas
January 10 1951  Ed Wynn
January 17 1951   Jack Carson
January 24 1951   Jimmy Durante
January 31 1951   Danny Thomas
February 7 1951   Ed Wynn
February 14 1951   Jack Carson
February 21 1951   Jimmy Durante
February 28 1951   Danny Thomas
March 7 1951   Ed Wynn
March 14 1951   Jack Carson
March 21 1051   Jimmy Durante
March 28 1951    Danny Thomas
April 4 1951   Ed Wynn
April 11 1951   Jack Carson
April 18 1951   Jimmy Durante
April 25 1951   Danny Thomas
May 2 1951   Ed Wynn
May 9 1951   Jack Carson
May 16 1951   Jimmy Durante
May 23 1951   Danny Thomas
May 30 1951   Ed Wynn
June 6 1951   Jack Carson
June 13 1951   Danny Thomas
June 20 1951   Ed Wynn
June 27 1951   Danny Thomas
July 4 1951   Jack Carson
July 11 1951   Danny Thomas 

Series 2 (as ALL-STAR REVUE): NBC Saturday 8-00pm (60 min)
September 8 1951   Ezio Pinza
September 15 1951   Olsen and Johnson
September 22 1951   Ed Wynn
September 29 1951   Jack Carson
October 6 1951   Jimmy Durante
October 13 1951   Danny Thomas
October 20 1951   Martha Raye, Ezio Pinza
October 27 1951   Victor Borge
November 3 1951   Jimmy Durante
November 10 1951   Ed Wynn
November 17 1951   Danny Thomas
November 24 1951   Jack Carson
December 1 1951   Jimmy Durante
December 8 1951   Ed Wynn
December 15 1951   Olsen and Johnson
December 22 1951   Danny Thomas
December 29 1951   Jimmy Durante
January 5 1952   Martha Raye
January 12 1952   Spike Jones
January 19 1952   Jack Carson
January 26 1952   Jimmy Durante
February 2 1952   Olsen and Johnson
February 9 1952   Danny Thomas
February 16 1952   Jack Carson
February 23 1952   Jimmy Durante
March 1 1952   Olsen and Johnson
March 8 1952   Ed Wynn
March 15 1952   Danny Thomas
March 22 1952   Jimmy Durante
March 29 1952   Martha Raye
April 5 1952   Ed Wynn
April 12 1952   Danny Thomas
April 19 1952   Jimmy Durante
April 26 1952   Bob Hope
May 3 1952   Ed Wynn
May 10 1952   Danny Thomas
May 17 1952   The Ritz Brothers
May 24 1952   Martha Raye
May 31 1952   Spike Jones
June 7 1952   Danny Thomas
June 14 1952   Paul Winchell
June 21 1952   Ed Gardner 

Series 3: NBC Saturday 8-00pm (60 min)
September 6 1952   Dennis Day
September 13 1952    George Jessel
September 20 1952   Jimmy Durante
September 27 1952   Martha Raye
October 4 1952   Phil Harris, Milton Berle
October 11 1952   Talullah Bankhead, Groucho Marx, Ethel Barrymore
October 18 1952   Jimmy Durante, Frank Sinatra
October 25 1952   George Jessel
November 1 1952   Martha Raye
November 8 1952   Tallulah Bankhead, David Niven
November 15 1952   Jimmy Durante
November 22 1952   The Ritz Brothers
November 29 1952   George Jessel
December 6 1952   Martha Raye
December 13 1952   Jimmy Durante, Sophie Tucker
December 20 1952   Tallulah Bankhead
December 27 1952   Walter O’Keefe, Buster Keaton
January 3 1953   Jimmy Durante
January 10 1953   Tallulah Bankhead, Milton Berle
January 17 1953   Martha Raye
January 24 1953   George Jessel
January 31 1953   Jimmy Durante
February 7 1953   Tallulah Bankhead
February 14 1953   Perry Como
February 21 1953   Martha Raye
February 28 1953   George Jessel
March 7 1953   Jimmy Durante
March 14 1953   Tallulah Bankhead
March 21 1953   Sonia Henie, Harpo Marx
March 28 1953   Ben Blue
April 4 1953   George Jessel, Eddie Cantor, Fred Allen
April 11 1953   Jimmy Durante
April 18 1953   Martha Raye

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