1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 7 (USA)
50 x 30 minute episodes
Jimmy Durante – who started out helping shave customers in his father’s barbershop in New York – enjoyed a long and prosperous career on the stage, in films, and on radio and became the star of the first weekly variety show to use the star’s name in the title.
Appearing as regulars on The Jimmy Durante Show were Eddie Jackson (Durante’s old vaudeville partner), pianist Jules Buffano, drummer Jack Roth, the Durante Girls, and the Ray Bargy Orchestra.
Durante made good use of all the old vaudeville routines that had made him a star, including frequent references to his large nose (his familiar nickname was ‘the schnozolla’), his signature song, Ink-a-Dink-a-Doo, and his famous closing line, “Goodnight Mrs Calabash, wherever you are,” which he always said prior to walking offstage as a single spotlight followed him.
While her act was being filmed for the show on 4 August 1955, singer and actress Carmen Miranda complained of feeling ill and out of breath but finished her performance. She passed away the following day, aged 46.