Bruce Caplan: Milton Berle TV Show 1949

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I don’t think Milton Berle was that great of a comedian, but he was the first celebrity to go on television. At that time, he was often labeled “Mr. TV”, because his program sold millions of television sets. Following is an entire 1949 Texaco show. I think as you watch it, you’ll realize how fortunate we are today as we enjoy all of technological improvements of modern times along with our contemporary actors and comics.


Texaco Star Theater from March 22, 1949

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Bruce Caplan

Author: Bruce Caplan

Bruce Caplan is a Seattle native with very eclectic interests. Back in the 70’s he was the sponsor of a 40’s music radio show on KXA in Seattle. When he watched the movie Titanic staring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck in 1953 Caplan became fascinated with the horrible tragedy. In 1996 his book on the subject was released. It’s now in the 20th printing. A decade ago Caplan began to do a weekly radio show on KIXI. The program is called Radio Trivia and he weekly brings to his audience the best of the best of the comedies from the golden age of radio. Because of Caplan’s interest in true crime, he began a second program on KIXI called Crime Club. On this show he often discuses events with authors of books on criminal subjects and weekly plays the great radio mysteries from long ago. Bruce has lectured throughout our nation and on scores of cruises. His greatest thrill is searching through the goldmine of radio gems of mysteries and comedies from yesteryear and bringing them back to an eager audience of young and old.

6 thoughts on “Bruce Caplan: Milton Berle TV Show 1949

  1. Berle worked his butt off putting those weekly shows together, plus his weekly radio show. He had to be one of the hardest working comics in the business at that time. My favorite comedian from that era was Jack Benny.

    1. To tell you the truth I never really understood Milton Berle’s appeal … other than the fact he was the first guy up to bat. Other TV comics of the era, such as Jack Benny, Sid Caesar and even original Tonight Show host Steve Allen were more to my liking. As far as television was concerned, Milton had at least a year head start on those guys. I was just a young kid at the time, but I just didn’t think he was all that funny. I don’t remember my parents thinking he was all that funny either. But this is just one man’s opinion.

  2. When I watched him mid to late 60s, I watched his TV show for the rock bands that would appear…like the Raiders. I do recall I did like this ongoing bit where he was doing lame standup and there was this heckler in the back named Sidney Schpritzer. Hard to recall, but I think we heard the bronx type voice calling Berle a bum and worse and Berle would call him by name and they would interact

    1. Steven ~ I had totally forgotten about that Uncle Miltie attempt at a come back on ABC Television from late 1966 to early ’67. One of those periods when I wasn’t watching much TV. I was more familiar with Texaco Star Theater he hosted from the late ’40s to 1956, which eventually became simply The Milton Berle Show … once Texaco dropped sponsorship. I recall he had Elvis doing Hound Dog in 1956. • I will say though, as a kid, I did like Arnold Stang (a small bespectacled comedian) who was a regular on the Berle Show. I thought he was funny.

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