Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s RCA Victor Show, The

RCA Victor Show, The

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When The RCA Victor Show premiered, its sole star was singer Ezio Pinza (pictured above with Zsa Zsa Gabor). Each episode of the loosely formatted show opened with urbane bachelor Pinza in his luxurious penthouse apartment, from which he would chat with the audience and sing a song or two.

He would then leave the apartment, encounter the evening’s guest star, and the two would return to his home. Pinza and guest would perform musical numbers separately and together, and the show closed with Mr Pinza alone at home singing the last song.

On 8 February 1952, Dennis Day made his first appearance as the alternate-week star of the show. His shows were more traditional situation comedies. Dennis played himself as a singer whose mother (Verna Felton) felt that he had been underpaid working on Jack Benny’s radio series and should look for a career of his own.

The only person who had real love for and faith in him was his girlfriend, Kathy (Kathy Phillips).

On 11 April 1952, the format of the Ezio Pinza part of the show was changed. Each episode now starred Mr Pinza in a dramatic story with guest stars and appropriate songs woven into the general plotline.

When The RCA Victor Show returned in 1952 after a summer hiatus, the Ezio Pinza episodes had been dropped and Dennis Day was the sole star. The format had also changed again, with Day playing himself again, but as a young bachelor living in a luxurious apartment building in Hollywood.

He couldn’t really afford it, but felt that it was necessary for his image in the quest to get ahead in show business.

Charley Weaver (Cliff Arquette) was the janitor, Mrs Pratt (Minerva Urecal) his landlady, Hal March a girl-crazy neighbour, and Lois Sterling (Lois Butler) his girlfriend who lived with her little sister.

In the fall of 1953, the show returned with essentially the same format under the new title The Dennis Day Show. Previously live, it was now taped for broadcast.

Charley Weaver had acquired a girlfriend named Lavinia (Ida Moore), and Dennis went through two new girlfriends, Marian (Carol Richards) and Peggy (Barbara Ruick). Although Lois Sterling was gone, her little sister Susan (Jeri Lou James) was still in the cast as Dennis’ youngest fan.

Ezio Pinza (1951-1952)
Dennis Day (1952-1954)
Mrs Day (1952)
Verna Felton
Kathy (1952)
Kathy Phillips
Charley Weaver (1952-1954)
Cliff Arquette
Lois Sterling (1952-1953)
Lois Butler
Mrs Pratt (1952-1953)
Minerva Urecal
Hal March (1952-1953)
Susan Sterling (1952-1954)
Jeri Lou James
Lavinia (1953-1954)
Ida Moore
Marian (1953-1954)
Carol Richards
Peggy (1953-1954)
Barbara Ruick