Variety is the Spice of Life

15 Jan

A couple of years ago when my buddies, Huck and Shrew, separately suggested that Taylor Hicks would be best served in a variety-type TV show, I was somewhat skeptical. 

Really?  Like the entertainment pablum of my ’60s & ’70s youth?  Could our cynical and jaded society grasp and actually appreciate this vintage concept, complete with special guest stars, comical skits and of course, musical performances?  I mean, would these really go over with folks today?

  Donny & Marie, with guest Milton Berle

  Sonny & Cher Show, VAMP

  Flip Wilson, with guest Muhammad Ali

  Tony Orlando & Dawn

However, after contemplating a bit, I remembered that while those good, old variety hour programs provided slapstick humor and comedic skits, there were also ALOT of great musical performances — like these little gems I came across:

  Blowin’ in the Wind, Glen Campbell with special guest, Stevie Wonder

  They Call the Wind Mariah, The Smothers Brothers

Then, as if to confirm my suspicions that today’s sophisticated TV viewer has no appetite for good, old variety fare, Rosie O’Donnell’s attempt at variety show resurrection lasted all of 42 seconds. 

So, imagine my surprise this morning when I see that one of my favorite artists of today, the one and only, Johnny Boy Mayer will have his own variety show on CBS.

Is this guy great, or what?!?

Is this guy great, or what?!?

As visionary as I might be on other topics, I just didn’t see this one coming.  However, I truly believe that he will be a hit and put Rosie to shame.  As it should be…


John’s got a bit of previous experience, compliments of Dave Chappelle.  In, White People Dancing he shows that he can play a great straight man.  Can’t wait to see who his special guests will be….

B.B. King?

Eric Clapton?

Buddy Guy?


Posted by on January 15, 2009 in John Mayer, TV


Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Variety is the Spice of Life

  1. shrewspeaks

    January 16, 2009 at 12:12 am

    OOOOOOOH This is fabulous! TiVO this…and since it’s on CBS I may have a chance with the Matlock Fans and actually get to watch this.

  2. little Deb

    January 16, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I hope we get the air dates soon. I’m really looking forward to this. I loved all the old variety shows and loved the fact that Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas were on early. Heck, I loved Ed Sullivan.

    For country fans, Nashville Now – hosted by Ralph Emery on TNN back when it was country was great.

  3. JenAdams

    January 16, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I forgot about that Dave Chappelle bit! Loved it. Loved that show. A John Mayer variety show will be appointment viewing for me!

    Speaking of cool musicians with shows, have you caught Spectacle Elvis Costello With… yet? It’s fabulous!

  4. marymagdalene

    January 17, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Would “The Muppet Show” count as a variety show?

    This is probably how I got to know of such stars during the late 1970s, and just featuring a few stand-outs:

    Harry Belafonte:

    Elton John:

    Petula Clark:

    Rita Moreno:

    Dyan Cannon:

    Alice Cooper:


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