Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-06 > 1118255889

Subject: RE : Mr. Television Day
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 14:38:09 EDT

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

( It was a long trip from silent
films and vaudeville, from Broadway and radio to this day in 1948 when Mr.
Television was born.
It was the beginning of the television era, and an actor, comedian, and
vaudevillian named Milton Berle was the first host of Texaco Star Theater. He didn
’t know it at the time, but he was destined to become TV’s first and
biggest star. Others hosted the show during the summer, but Berle made the cut,
becoming the permanent emcee, staying in the spotlight for another eighteen
Milton Berle quickly became a national institution known as Mr. Television.
He was undoubtedly responsible for selling millions of TV sets, ultimately
making TV the most popular form of entertainment in America. People bought the
new contraption just to see the zany comedian on Tuesday night on the NBC
network. Shops, restaurants and streets emptied out throughout America as folks
rushed home to see the Texaco Star Theater.
The show’s format included the four Texaco Service Men singing the Texaco
jingle which then worked into a musical introduction of Milton Berle. He would
come on stage at this point, dressed in some outlandish costume. And the show
went on... Berle would end each variety show (similar to an old-fashioned
vaudeville variety hour) by singing his theme song, Near You.
The format evolved over the years, but Milton Berle, known fondly as Uncle
Miltie, stayed the consummate entertainer. Berle has written songs and books,
won many awards including one of the first Emmys awarded to a performer
[1950]. The entertainer has given more charity performances than any other in show
Mr. Television ... Uncle Miltie ... Milton Berle made us laugh till tears
ran down our faces. Those were simpler times. Those were the days...

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