The Morey Amsterdam Show was a comedy/variety series with two slightly different settings. From December 17, 1948 to March 7, 1949, Morey Amsterdam was the emcee at a nightclub located in Times Square on the CBS network. In April of 1949, the series moved to the Dumont network and the setting shifted to another nightclub. Throughout, Morey told jokes, introduced guest acts, and played his cello until the series ended on October 12, 1950!
CastMorey Amsterdam ............. The club Emcee
Art Carney .................. Charlie the Doorman / Newton the Waiter
Jacqueline Susann ........... Lola the Cigarette Girl
Vic Damone .................. Nightclub singer (1949-1950)
TriviaThe Morey Amsterdam Show actually began as a radio show with the same characters, actors, and plot. In fact, the radio and television versions ran at the same time.
The New York City nightclub where the Morey Amsterdam Show began was the "Golden Goose Cafe". When the show moved to the Dumont Network, the cast was working at the "Silver Swan Cafe". Art Carney's character changed from Charlie the doorman to Newton the waiter.
Jacqueline Susann's husband, Irving Mansfield, was the producer of both the radio and TV versions of The Morey Amsterdam Show.
The Johnny Guarnieri Orchestra provided music for the series.
Few people realize that Art Carney was a tremendous voice actor. His radio experience required him to develop the talent as it was common for an actor to do several voices on a show or several different shows at once with all of the voices being distincly different. He was initially hired by CBS because an executive was blown away by how well he imitated President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt must have agreed. The President had severe (at times) health problems and believe it or not, he would ask Art Carney to speak for him on his famous fireside chats when the President was too ill!
Most of us know Art Carney from is groundbreaking role on the series, "The Honeymooners". Ed Norton was not a particularly easy role for Art to play and Art's roles on the Morey Amsterdam Show were very similar in their speech and actions to Ed Norton. Art once said, "I love Ed Norton and what he did for my career. But the truth is that we couldn't have been more different. Norton was the total extrovert, there was no way you could put down his infectious good humor. Me? I'm a loner and a worrier." Art's good humor lasted until the very end of his career. The last words he said on screen were, "I'm Outta Here!" in the 1993 movie, "Last Action Hero".
Morey Amsterdam got the nickname, "The Human Joke Machine" by having the ability to ad-lib one joke after another on any subject. Morey started in show business at age 14 as a "straight man" for his brother. At 16 he was working in a speakeasy in Chicago owned by none other than Al Capone, until he got caught in a gangland shootout and he promptly quit! He moved to California and wrote jokes for some of the biggest comedy stars of the day including Jimmy Durante, Will Rogers, and Fanny Brice! Morey went on to be a radio star, hit song-writer, and hit TV for the first time in 1948 on the series, "Stop Me If You've Heard This One". Morey was such a huge star by 1948 that you almost couldn't watch anything on television or hear anything on the radio without Morey's presence! After completing the Morey Amsterdam Show, he hosted a talk show titled, "Broadway Open House" which is generally acknowledged as being the inspiration for NBC's, "The Tonight Show"! Of course, the thing that most of us remember Morey Amsterdam for is his role as Buddy Sorrell on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" where he essentially played the character who was exactly like himself. After the Dick Van Dyke Show, Morey headlined in the best nightclubs all over the country, made numerous TV guest appearances, and had several small roles in the movies. Morey passed away on October 27, 1996 at age 87 from a heart attack.
The Morey Amsterdam Show was canceled by CBS, not for poor ratings, but rather because they had more big name stars wanting shows than they had time slots to fill!
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
Season 1NOTE: This is a VERY preliminary list which may contain errors! It is the best information that we have been able to find.
There were a total of 79 episodes
Season 2Note: Moved from Monday to Thursday And from CBS to The Dumont Network
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