Saturday Morning Cartoons 1970s V1 on DVD June Cleaver book

Carol Burnett Show on DVD Route 66 season 1 on DVD Twilight Zone on DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Good Times Season 5 on DVD Soupy Sales DVD
TV Shows on DVD/ / / / / / / Classic TV/ / / / / / / Punk Book/ / / / / / / Obscure 70s Music / / / / Holiday Specials on DVD / / / / / / Classic Commercials

 

Woody Allen's Early Days
THE BEST OF WOODY ALLEN'S 'EARLY/FUNNY' TV
by Pete Delaney

woody allen photoAstonishing as it may seem to some people, there once was a time when Woody Allen was a funny, likeable and endearing entertainer whose unique brand of comedy in the 1960s and early 1970s was eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by television audiences.

Back in 1960, Allen Stewart Konigsberg left a lucrative $1,700 a week job as a writer on the Garry Moore TV show with a desire to perform his own jokes. After a tough first year as a standup comic in Greenwich Village clubs working for free, the act performed by this unassuming nerdy, short guy with red hair and big glasses - a unique blend of observations about sex, politics, machines, crime, religion, psychiatrists and urban living - took form making Woody Allen, as he would state, "Successful at comedy beyond my interest in comedy."

Spurred on by his managers Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe, Woody then accepted offers to appear on any kind on television program in the 1960s.

Woody Allen photoThe list of these shows is amazingly diverse: Ed Sullivan, David Susskind, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Jack Paar, Joe Franklin, Virginia Graham, Steve Allen, Mike Douglas, John Gary, Dick Cavett, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Joe Namath, Hootenanny, Hippodrome, Hullabaloo, I've Got A Secret, What's My Line, Password, Kraft Music Hall, That Was The Week That Was, Candid Camera and even the 1964 New York Mets post-game show.

On all of these shows Woody Allen standup routines such as 'the moose story,' 'Neanderthal man in the lobby' and 'thugs invade Shakespeare in the park' are all done with enthusiasm and cheerfulness.

Here is a look of his best television work from what is nostalgically referred to as 'Woody Allen's Early/Funny Years.'

 

'CANDID CAMERA' (1961, CBS)
Among Woody's many ideas for stunts on this series was an uproarious segment where he dictates a love letter to a stenographer: "I love you, one exclamation mark. I need you, two exclamation marks." The secretary's facial expressions are priceless.

'THE JACK PAAR SHOW' (December 14, 1962, NBC)
One of Woody's first important appearances on network TV came on the Paar show. Confident in his unique material, the comedian was on for 8 minutes with bits about his health plan ("It's like a record club. They send me a list of operations and I pick three I like."), dealings with the law ("The New York Public Library surrounded my house with guns and searchlights demanding the books back!"), and self defense ("When threatened, I immediately lapse into the old Navaho trick of screaming and begging.") scoring big with Paar's studio audience.

'I'VE GOT A SECRET' (April 19, 1965, CBS)
Woody's secret is that he and IGAS panelist Bess Myerson had prepared a unique Dixieland jazz duet - Woody playing his beloved clarinet, Bess on flute. With Woody standing on a box to match the statuesque Myerson's height, the duo let loose with a rousing Dixie number.

 

Woody Allen TV show'WOODY ALLEN' (February 17, 1965, GRANADA)
In this rarely seen half-hour taped for British TV, Woody is able to deliver his night club act without the restraints of American censors. Appearing on a bare stage in front of an appreciative audience, Woody performs many of his classic stories.

'THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS' (1965, NBC)
Woody recalls being locked in a test fallout shelter with his unstable wife. He also tells of being an advertising agency's 'show Jew' - a funny and insightful routine about anti-Semitism.

'THE BEST ON RECORD' (May 18, 1965, NBC)
Long before the Grammy Awards became an annual TV event, there was this all-star special that featured performances by many 1964 nominees and winners. Between the musical acts, the nominees for best comedy album (including Woody, Bob Newhart and Bill Cosby) would do a quick 3 minute routine. Woody introduced himself saying "I am honored to be part of this fantastic tribute to the recording industry being paid by the recording industry." He assured viewers that he was not upset by not winning since his wrists were healing nicely and he was sure that the swastika he painted on the winner's door was dry by now.

'GENE KELLY IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK'
(February 14, 1966, NBC)

In this unique musical salute to New York City that pioneered use of mobile video tape technology with cameras roaming all over Manhattan, Woody Allen gets a healthy 13 minutes of air time providing the comedy between the dancin' and singin'.

Here, Woody receives the most elaborate introduction of his show-business career as a troupe of a dozen singers and dancers parade down Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village and march into the Bitter End nightclub singing "WOOODDDEEEEE ALLLLLLENNNNNN!!!!" before they collapse on the club's floor. The monologue Woody then delivers is important historically in that none of the material was ever released on a comedy album. It's an hilarious account of Woody's family tree starting in ancient Rome ("The Allens were orgy caterers who made wild things out of potato salad."). An Allen was the first comic who, after receiving the 10 commandments told Moses to, "'Take these two tablets and call me in the morning.' Moses was so amused that he could hardly smite him."

Other Allens included the inventor of cowardice, a Jewish Indian tribe and a strange relative who thought he was a 500 pound block of ice. Later in the show Kelly encounters Woody at part of his residence - a double decker British bus parked on 44th street. He explains to Gene that his kitchen is on Staten Island and his bedroom is in a sleazy Times Square hotel.

When Gene asks Woody if he ever feels that he's a bit unusual, Woody replies, "Yes, that's what kept me out of the Army. They wrote on my induction form 'This boy is a little unusual. Don't let him fight for our country.'"

Just before the big musical finale, the British singer Tommy Steele finds Woody playing a grand piano on the sidewalk in front of the Plaza hotel on 59th Street. Atop the piano is Yetta, a stunning blonde. Steele asks Woody, "How do you get a grand piano on a 59th Street sidewalk?" "You rent one," replies the tuxedo clad comedian.


READ AND WATCH
PART TWO:
Woody gets his own special
...plus the show that was never broadcast - and why.

 


Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / Star Trek Animated / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Biff Burger

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
TV History


Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!

 

Embedded videos on this page in Real Player format:
Real Player
For video

Fridays TV Show on DVD DVDWhen Things Were Rotten on DVD

Ripcord on DVDDobie Gillis on DVD

Shazam on DVD

 

 

Shop Amazon's New Kindle Fire

 

 

Woody Allen


Woody Allen on the
Kraft Summer Music
Hall
in 1965


Woody Allen - Part One
Woody Allen's TV Shows - Part Two
Woody Allen on TV - Part Three

Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / Classic Christmas Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments

MOVIE STARS ON TV
JOHN WAYNE I JIMMY STEWART, GLORIA SWANSON I TALLULAH BANKHEAD
MAE WEST I GROUCHO MARX I BOB HOPE ON TV I RONALD REAGAN
BUSTER KEATON
I
LUCILLE BALL I BETTE DAVIS I
JAMES DEAN
WOODY ALLEN I JUDY GARLAND

Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / 2012 Emmy Awards / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / big brotherSonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 

Superman on DVD Honey West on DVD Match Game on DVD Route 66 season 2 on DVD Soupy Sales DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Kid's TV Commercials
Looking for classic TV on DVD?
Tarzan TV show on DVD