SKETCH SHOW “YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS”

Your Show of Shows, one of the first sketch shows, was extremely popular in the early 1950s in the United States. Once a week, NBC aired brilliant musical/comedy sketches by Sid Caesar, Imogen Koki, and other great artists.

The show featured contributions from top comedy writers such as Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, and Karl Rainer. The 90-minute program Your Show of Shows aired live from February 25, 1950 to June 5, 1954. The show was broadcast from the International Theater (also known as the Park Theater) on Columbus Street in New York City. The former theater, as well as several other buildings in the neighborhood, were demolished after NBC left the theater in 1954, and the New York Convention Center was built in their place.

Working on his first sketch show, Your Show of Shows, Karl Rainer believes, inspired him to create The Dick Van Dyke Show. Mel Brooks directed the 1982 film My Best Year, based on Your Show of Shows, and Neil Simon wrote the play Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

NBC destroyed the majority of the show’s tapes, but some were saved. The television play “Ten from Your Show of Shows,” which collected ten sketches from the show Your Show of Shows, was released in 1973. The surviving recordings were re-aired on Comedy Central in the early 1990s. Sid Caesar also released The Sid Caesar Collection, a DVD collection of sketches from his personal collection.

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