1 9 6 4 – 1 9 7 0 (USA)
Originally broadcast as The Saturday Night Hollywood Palace, this big-budget, lavish, weekly variety show was designed as ABC’s Saturday night answer to CBS’s popular Sunday night variety programme The Ed Sullivan Show.
The show was telecast live from ABC’s newly refurbished El Capitan Theater in Hollywood – now renamed The Palace – and featured Bing Crosby as its host on the premiere show.
Film star Mickey Rooney, dancer Bobby Van, singer Nancy Wilson, comedian Bob Newhart, Bing’s son Gary, and various magicians, singers, dancers and circus acts also made guest appearances on that first telecast.
Crosby subsequently hosted over 30 shows, while other hosts included Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Don Adams and Milton Berle.
During the show’s first few months, Raquel Welch (not yet famous) held up cards announcing the various acts. Mitchell Ayres and his orchestra provided music for the show. The series was produced by Bill Harbach and directed by Grey Lockwood.
In 1973 and 1977 two attempts were made to revive the series but both attempts ended in cancellation after less than a season.
Mitchell Ayres and his orchestra