When Variety Was King
Memoir of a TV Pioneer: Featuring Jackie Gleason, Sonny and Cher, Hee Haw, and More
A television producer’s fascinating memoir of the golden age of the variety show
“Full of behind-the-scenes stories . . . For fans of TV history, there’s a gold mine here.” — Booklist
A humble Canadian boy who grew up to create iconic American TV shows featuring the Hollywood celebrities of the day, Frank Peppiatt made his breakthrough by developing the rock TV show Hullabuloo with his partner, John Aylesworth. That led to a writing gig for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé — and then to the long-running smash hit Hee Haw.
In this autobiography, he recounts a career that spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s, writing comedy and turning entertainers into household names on variety shows hosted by Jackie Gleason, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Sonny and Cher, and Perry Como. This anecdote-filled memoir of a bygone era will enthrall anyone interested in the early decades of television.