Overlooked Facts About Beloved Sitcoms That Will Take You Back In Time

March 12, 2024

"The Ed Sullivan Show" Was a Taste of Vaudeville for TV Audiences.

This collection of colorized images from classic 1950s and 1960s black-and-white television shows will have you reminiscing about some of your favorite past series. If you were a fan when these shows originally aired, you will love to learn the behind-the-scenes secrets, fun facts, feuds, and tragedies that were not publicly known about these classic shows at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a blast from the past with these colorized screen stills from classic black-and-white television shows.

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Do you want to get a general idea of what old-time Vaudeville was like? Watch some old episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show. The TV variety show was really patterned after Vaudeville shows, with musical acts, guest appearances, comic sketches, and zany slapstick skits. For many people today, The Ed Sullivan Show makes us immediately think about the Beatles, who made their American TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, or Elvis, who was famously filmed from the waist up so that viewers – and censors – wouldn’t see his gyrating hips. While these entertainers may be fixed in our memories, it was actually a comedy duo from Canada, Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, who logged the most The Ed Sullivan Show appearances with close to 80 guest appearances.

"My Favorite Martian" Nearly Ruined Ray Walston's Acting Career. 

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When it debuted in 1963, My Favorite Martian was the first television sitcom with a science fiction theme. It was often lumped with Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie as the earliest sci-fi series, but the later two are really based in magic, whereas My Favorite Martian is a focused on science and technology. Character actor Ray Walston was cast as the title role. Later, Walston said he regretted taking the role, but he did so because he needed the money. After the show ended in 1966, Walston had trouble landing other roles. Casting directors had trouble seeing him in more serious roles. Despite this, Walston said that the best thing about the show was meeting his co-star, Bill Bixby. Walston and Bixby became good friends.