Would a 1970's style Variety show work again?

What do you all think? Many great shows back then like Carol Burnett, Ed Sullivan and others.

Are there stars today who would have that much appeal?

Dunno. Is Alec Baldwin still doing Match Game? That…was…uhhhhh…interesting but not so great would be my opinion.

But anyway, I think Alec is one of the only guys who could pull off a variety show these days.

Variety shows were more a thing of the '50s and '60s. I know Carol Burnett survived into the '70s, but when Mary Tyler Moore tried one of her own around the bicentennial, it failed miserably.

Are there stars around today who are sufficiently versatile and well-known to provide new guests every week? I doubt it. Most of them are pretty well locked into one style of performing, and they just seem to come and go without having much of an impact.

The variety show format is kind of outdated itself. It seems like a relic of the past. I’m not sure I’d even enjoy watching reruns of classic variety shows today.

It wouldn’t surprise me of that specific style of variety show has seen it’s golden era. I think Saturday Night Live, In Living Color, Mad TV, All That, even The Benny Hill show are the ‘new’ variety shows. On top of that there’s how many different late night talk shows too.

So, I don’t think we’re going to get another Carol Burnett or Lawrence Welk style show, but I think it’s evolved/morphed just fine into other things.

They seem to try them again every once in a while but they don’t seem to last.
Martin Short and Maya Rudolph had the Maya & Marty show a few years back but it never seemed to have been renewed.
Neil Patrick Harris also had The Best Show Ever and it didn’t last past one season.

Talk shows and sketch shows are whole different kinds of animals from a true variety show. To anchor one, you need a Dean Martin, Flip Wilson, Red Skelton, or Carol Burnett. How many stars are there around today who could fill their shoes? Not very damned many!

They tried dozens of variety shows though in the 60s & 70s. Most lasted only a short time. Also viewing is so different these days. Even Carol Burnett basically predates cable and now people have 100s of channels and streaming.

Lets say a successful Singer/Comic Actress tried to launch one.

Anna Kendrick has a very successful movie career, so why would she bother.

Zooey Deschanel: You know what, I like that one.

Joseph Gorden Levitt: Triple threat.

Justin Timberlake: Has done well with SNL sketches

Jamie Foxx, has sketch experience and can sing and act.

Eddie Murphy, same

Ariana Grande maybe, she had some successful silly teen sitcoms before her huge singing career took off. She started on Broadway as a kid I believe.

Victoria Justice, she can sing and do comedy.

Miley Cyrus, seems like a possibility

Kristen Bell maybe, she has Frozen for her singing credit.

There are plenty more, these are ones I thought of pretty quickly.

benny hill gets the 3 stooges award for getting screwed over /taken advantage of by a studio………
but yeah the carol burnette/ laugh in type of show became snl and in living color

also would there even be enough plate spinners and vaudeville style acts like Sullivan used to have on to even have a weekly show ?

SNL is probably the closest thing we have these days; sketch comedy with a couple of musical numbers thrown in.

The missing ingredient is the “specialty act” - things like acrobats, jugglers, animal acts, dance troupes, etc. In the '60s and even '70s, acts like these were the lingering ghosts of the Vaudeville era, hanging on, ironically, by embracing the medium that killed Vaudeville.

Nowadays, these kinds of acts would be tough to come by, and an even tougher sell to modern audiences. So you’d be left with, well, sketch comedy with a couple musical numbers thrown in.

Nah, you just pick up the castoffs from the various seasons of Ameraca’s Got Talent.

Are there stars today who have the talent and appeal to head a variety show? Probably; What Exit? made a pretty good list.

Is there a market for it anymore? I highly doubt it. I suspect that part of what made variety shows work, in the pre-cable days, was the limited number of choices you had in what to watch on TV; in that environment, a show that gave you a little bit of everything had a role to play (especially if your other choices were “a cop show on network #2, and another cop show on network #3”). Now, between cable and streaming, if I have a taste for any particular genre at a particular moment, I probably have hundreds of options I can watch at that very moment.

Parenthetically, I think that some of the late-night shows (particularly James Corden’s show) are becoming sort of variety-show-esque. Ostensibly, Corden hosts a talk show, but between his monologue, audience interaction bits, and sketches, he often doesn’t get to his guests until halfway through the show.

The reason variety shows failed in the first place was because viewers were increasingly unwilling to sit through a couple of comedians, some acrobats, a magician, and a scene from a Broadway show in exchange for a couple of songs by The Beatles.

Or vice versa, for that matter. You may remember that NBC tried moving The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to prime time and it was an utter disaster, both critically and in the ratings.

I agree with What Exit that there are many performers out there with the talent to host such a show, but the format just doesn’t grab viewers anymore.

wasn’t the gong show idea started as a parody of variety shows ?
I know in the 80s there was this juggler who was something of a stand up comedian who was on a lot of “specials” and talk shows

his shtick was hed tell the jokes while juggling various things his "coupe de gra " was hed juggle an apple bowling ball and a raw egg sometimes there would be more things thrown in … but hed eat the apple as it came around and right at the end hed “accidently” eat the egg for laughs depending on the show the whole process would be 5-to 15 minuites
youd need a lot more like him to fill an hour show

That was what I was going to say as well- the late night shows are more variety-ish than in years past- Fallon for example, tends toward the opening monologue, two guests, some kind of pre-filmed skit (hashtags, thank-you notes, superlatives, etc…) a musical act (sometimes one of the guests), and some kind of comedic sketch- either a sketch with a guest, some kind of audience interaction, or some kind of silly game with a guest.

Seems awfully variety-show like to me…

I think YouTube’s got the viewing market for this, so, no.

Not to diss anyone, but I see only two or three on that list who might compare to a Flip Wilson or Carol Burnett. Some of them I’ve never heard of before, and I doubt most will have the staying power of a Dean Martin or Red Skelton. And those who have already made it big in music or whatever field are probably bringing in too much money to even consider the grind of a weekly variety show. I think this a world you pretty much have to be born into, or at least believe you were.

How soon people forget. Actually, NBC gave Leno a separate show, The Jay Leno Show, and left the Tonight Show in place at 11:35 PM with Conan O’Brien taking over as host. Due to declining ratings of Leno’s show, NBC shortened it to 30 minutes, moved it to 11:35, and pushed the Tonight Show to 12:05 AM. O’Brien publicly complained, and announced that he would rather resign than preside over what he called the “death of the Tonight Show.” NBC gave the Tonight Show back to Leno and moved it back to 11:35. O’Brien went on to host his own talk show on TBS.

2010 Tonight Show conflict

I’d consider AGT a variety show.

Variety shows are alive and well in Korea, though I don’t know how the formats would transfer to the US.

I suspect a US version of Running Man (which made Business Insider’s top 20 list in 2016 alongside “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Stranger Things") will be coming soon. The show features celebrities promoting their movies, dramas or songs and has them playing usually physical games, the most popular being ‘name tag ripping’ which is like flag football except everyone is a target! Another popular theme is a mystery to be solved by solving puzzles and finding clues. There’s a set cast of 8 who sometimes do the show themselves.

Knowing Bros (aka Ask Me Anything) and Happy Together combine a casual talk show atmosphere (Knowing Bros is set in a classroom and on Happy Together, everyone sits on couches) with song and dance (for musical guests) and skits or silly ask me anything segments.

There’s also musical variety shows where singers/groups have a sit down talk session, musical challenges (rollercoaster (songs randomly sped up and slowed down) and 2X speed are the most popular) and various games, both physical and mental.

More a reality show than variety, The Mask Singer coming next year to the U.S. is based on the Korean King of Mask[ed] Singer where celebrities and singers wear elaborate masks and costumes to hide their identity as they go head to head. If there’s any doubt that some of the Korean KPop stars aren’t real singers and can only lipsync, there are many that prove otherwise on the show.