The Big Party (1959)

Barbara Britton

Barbara Britton

Ninety minute variety show with a different host every week, To try and keep the party atmosphere it all supposedly took place live in the host’s penthouse, hotel suite or wherever the elite meet to party. The show alternated with “Playhouse 90.”

Opening episode: October 8, 1959: Host Barbara Britton introduces the show and handles the Revlon commercials.. Rock Hudson is your party host of the week. He phones Tallulah Bankhead. Prepare for lame comedy. He invites her to a party in his hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria. She says she’ll find the guests.

Tallulah phones Esther Williams who just happens to be at the pool. They wax poetic over Rock. She tells Esther to come as you are. The next call goes to Mort Sahl. He’s funny. Next call is to singer Lisa Kirk. Next invite goes to Sammy Davis,Jr. Overall the entire bit has some laughs.

Commercial then party time as Rock serves the drinks. Rock and Sammy do some schtick and then Sammy and the group sing “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” Then Sammy does some imitations. The pianist is Matt Dennis.

Rock and Tallulah trade lines.  Esther Williams comes in wearing the same dress as Tallulah. They trade lines and Rock gets involved. Through it all Tallulah has some good lines. Esther leaves to go home and change. Rock and Tallulah do some more comedy. Mort Sahl introduces the commercial.

Mort does some jokes and Sammy reminisces. Back comes Esther. She and Rock talk and sing their way through “How About You?”  and “When We’re Alone.”  Lisa Kirk enters and talks with Mort. Rock introduces Mort with a routine. Good topical humor. Commercial

Lisa sings “Travelin’ Light” followed by “I’m Sittin’ On Top Of The World.” Commercial.

Carlos Montoya is the next guest. He listens to Tallulah tell a story which is interrupted by a CBS plug for Red Skelton. Now Carlos plays some classical guitar..”Malaguena.”  Commercial.

Matt sings a bit of his composition “Violets For Your Furs.” Lisa sings “Everything Happens To Me.” Everybody sings “Let’s Get Away From It All.” Commercial

Sammy and Matt  sing “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” and Sammy goes into a dance routine. Then he does “Birth Of The Blues.”  Now the guests start leaving. Lisa sings a few lines from”The Party’s Over” and the star guests leave. Everyone’s gone and Rock says goodnight to the audience.

Plug from James Whitmore about “The Psalms Of Eden” on Playhouse 90.” That’ll be next week. Two weeks from now Greer Garson hosts the party.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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2 Responses to The Big Party (1959)

  1. This sounds like a fun variation of the variety show. Do you know if these are up on Youtube?

  2. vintage45 says:

    This is the only episode I’ve seen posted on youtube.

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