Tuesday, January 18, 2011


If you received one of Universal’s new Bing Crosby DVD collections over the holidays and have immersed yourself in his films, you can sample another aspect of his career at the Internet Archive (archive.org), where you can find a scratchy, slightly blurry copy of “The Bing Crosby Show” from 1954. The show, actually a half-hour variety special that was essentially Crosby’s introduction to television, is an entertaining and enlightening time capsule, from the opening promo for General Electric with its blazing arc of current to the host’s caustic remarks about his “Road” movie partner, Bob Hope. Ever noticed Hope’s facial expression on TV, Crosby asks — “like a stricken steer?” Later, when Jack Benny jumps on Crosby’s back as part of a routine, Crosby deadpans, “First comic I’ve carried since Hope.” The show has sly moments: When Crosby tells a story about Benny’s being thrown out of the nightclub the Cocoanut Grove for bringing in his own food, Benny replies, “I remember when you were thrown out of the Grove, and it was a different kind of picnic.” After the well-toned Sheree North, posing as Benny’s date, whips off her long skirt and performs a calisthenic dance routine, Crosby tells Benny, “Say, pick up Sheree’s skirt and muff before you leave.” Benny: “I’ll pick up her check too.” In addition to the banter and jokes — mostly delivered while standing in front of a fake stage curtain covered with huge CBS eyes — you’ll be treated to Crosby’s renditions of “It Had to Be You,” “Changing Partners” and “I Love Paris.” SOURCE

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