Thursday, January 3, 2008

Broadway Open House with host Jerry Lester (1950)

If you ever read a book on the history of The Tonight Show or late night television (there are a lot of them) they all make reference to this show, the first show made exclusively for late night, airing Monday through Friday at 11pm on NBC. The show apparently did not do too well and died after a year. NBC waited another three years before trying the format again, when they hit paydirt with Steve Allen. Still, this hour long episode is pretty damn entertaining and features Milton Delugg as the band leader.

4 comments:

Phillyradiogeek said...

Kliph, can you recommend any of those books on late night TV you mention? I'm an armchair broadcast historian (of sorts), and I'd love to read such a book.

East Side said...

My mom used to rave about this show, and Jerry Lester in particular. Was he the inspiration for Screwball Squirrel? They look and sounnd kind of similar.

Kliph Nesteroff said...

Hey, you're right. Screwy Squirrel must have been a take off of Lester. Just like MGM's Barney Bear was a take off of Wallace Beary.

bobc said...

i recall seeing this show when i was very young. i thought it was great entertainment than as i do now. i think jerry lester deserves more credit than he has reveived as an innovator of the late night format. I can not say enough good things about this show and Jerry Lester. I only wish that there were more reruns available. there is nothing like it today. Jerry had a real sense of humor and a quick wit, not unlike Carson.