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Early TV Variety Shows/Specials
A collection of characters from
"Let's Have Fun"
Starring Chuck McCann
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In 1959, Chuck McCann starred in "Let's Have Fun", a show featuring many comic strip characters come to life as well as original characters in running skits such as Sid Dump, a not-so-talented ventriloquist.
The Chuck McCann Show ran from 1960 - 1975 in various forms, on New York's WPIX then WNEW. Chuck also hosted his own variety show special, which featured Chuck with some familiar characters as well as some new ones and with a cast of regulars such as Jack Riely, Pat McCormack and Jim MacGeorge. Below you'll see Chuck doing a parody scene from the Godfather. godfather
A variety/comedy hour that ran on CBS in 1970. The theme of the show was "radio days", and it was full of songs, sketches and stars of that of the 1930's and 40's. The show was hosted by Louie Nye, and featured Edgar Bergin & Charlie McCarthy, Bob & Ray and a cast of variety singers, dancers and big bands.
Chuck was a regular in the cast and did many of the characters from his NY shows, as well as performing Laurel & Hardy sketches with Jim MacGeorge. He also created The Great Voodini, a regular guest who would perform failed escape tricks.
Voodini was always presented by our tortured Happy Day's reporter, Hap Hooligan, played by Jack Burns, of the duo Burns & Schreiber.
Click the photo of Voodini to see classic clips!
During the newspaper strike in NYC, Chuck would read the comics as their characters on his show "Lets Have Fun". These characters all became staples in his repertoire for a long time, as they were fan favorites!
On Happy Days, Chuck performed these characters again (Lone Ranger, Little Orphan Annie, Superman and Dick Tracy) as being interviewed.
For clips of these performances, click on Annie (l.).
Being a master of sketch comedy and having a full army of characters, Chuck has been a favorite on many variety shows and specials through the years. Below are only two - as we search out some more footage.
Bob Hope produced and hosted the NBC Special "The Bluffers". Chuck was a utility man, playing everything! In this sketch, he plays a priest performing a wedding...
"Clown Around" was a special hosted by Ed Sullivan, which gave tribute to clowns...as Ed Sullivan himself was a closet clown wanna-be as he admits in the special - co-hosted by Lucie Arnez. Chuck played a few characters during the special, but the clip we're showing here, he does his lauded impression of W.C. Fields.