Imogene Coca Show, The

In 1954, for reasons the folks involved could never quite explain, a decision was made to break up NBC’s powerful Saturday night variety series, Your Show of Shows. Its male star, Sid Caesar, moved on to a similar program called Caesar’s Hour. Its producer, Max Liebman, began a run of specials, many of them reviving old Broadway shows. And the female star, Imogene Coca, starred in The Imogene Coca Show for what turned out to be a disappointing one season. It was done from the Century Theatre in New York, sharing space with the Wally Cox sitcom, Mr. Peepers. (The Mr. Peepers ticket we have posted is from the same month as the above Imogene Coca Show ticket.)

Though the public still loved Coca, they didn’t love her new show which started life as a situation comedy, turned into a variety show, then went back to the sitcom format. She had a strong supporting cast that at various times included Billy DeWolfe, Bibi Osterwald, Hal March and David Burns, and several of the Your Show of Show writers, including Danny Simon, Mel Brooks and Lucille Kallen. But it just didn’t work, which made 1955 a sad year for Coca. Her show was cancelled and then her husband passed away.

She disappeared from television for several years after that, finally returning in 1958 for a reunion series with Caesar, and later starring in a new sitcom, Grindl, in 1963. Some people still consider her the best comedienne to ever appear on television.