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  The Perry Como Show / Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall / The Chesterfield Supper Club

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> Description 
Perry Como was one of he hottest properties in show business, with a four-year string of hit records and an NBC radio series already to his credit, when his first TV series began in 1948. The Chesterfield Supper Club premiered in the Friday 7:00-7:15 P.M. time slot on December 24, 1948, but stayed there only three weeks before moving to 11:00 P.M. on January 14, 1949. It was at first a simulcast of Perry's popular radio show and made few concessions to the new medium. Cameras were simply brought into the radio studio and Como and his guests were seen in front of a radio microphone, with scripts and music stands in full view. In succeeding months this was gradually modified, with simple backdrops and props being added. The basic format remained Perry's easygoing crooning, often of his latest hit record, with interludes by regulars the Fontane Sisters (Marge, Bea, and Geri) as assorted guest stars. The guest on the very first show, Christmas Eve 1948, was a boys' choir, which included Perry's eight-year-old son, Ronnie. Subsquent guest spots tended also to be filled by singers, some headliners such as Nat "King" Cole, Burl Ives, Patti Page, etc., and some less well-known, including an early appearance by the black rhythm and blues group, the Ravens. Personalities from other areas of show business, such as comedians and actors, were also seen.

In 1950 Perry moved to CBS with a thrice weekly 15-minute program called The Perry Como Show. Then in 1955 he finally graduated to a full prime-time variety hour on Saturday nights, on NBC. The basic format remained unchanged for the next eight years. Perry opened with his new theme, "Dream along with me, I'm on my way to a star...," there was a request spot introduced by girls singing "Letters, we get letters, we get stacks and stacks of letters!", and top-name guest stars engaging in easy banter with the relaxed Mr. C. The show would frequently close with Perry singing a religious or serious number, blending into the closing theme, "You are never far away from me..." When the show moved to Wednesday nights, Kraft took over sponsorship, and in 1961 a group of young players was added, backing Perry and his guests in regular comedy skits. Announcer Frank Gallop also assumed a regular role on the show over the years, as a comic foil to Perry. Gallop was generally heard off camera, his voice booming as if in an echo chamber.

Although Perry's regular weekly series ended in 1963, he remained popular with TV viewers and was seen every five or six weeks in Kraft Music Hall specials from 1963 to 1967. After that his specials were less frequent.
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Jun 12, 1963
Premiere December 24, 1948
Network NBC / CBS
Format/Time Black & White / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
> Cast 
Don Adams....   Don Adams (Kraft Music Hall Player) (1961-1963)
Shirley Booth....   Herself (2 episodes)
Frances Langford....   Herself (2 episodes)
Sally Ann Howes....   Herself (3 episodes)
Lena Horne....   Herself (6 episodes)
Jaye P. Morgan....   Herself (1955)
Kaye Ballard....   Herself - Kraft Music Hall Player (1961-1963)
Sandy Stewart....   Herself - Kraft Music Hall Player (1961-1963)
Pierre Olaf....   Himself - Kraft Music Hall Player (1961-1963)
Paul Lynde....   Himself - Kraft Music Hall Player (1961-1963)
Jack Duffy....   Himself - Kraft Music Hall Player (1961-1963)
Durward Kirby....   Himself/Announcer (1950-1951)
Ed Herlihy....   Himself/Announcer (1959-1963)
Dick Stark....   Himself/Announcer (1951-1955)
Frank Gallop....   Himself/Announcer (1955-1963)
Martin Block....   Himself/Announcer (1948-1950)
Perry Como....   Himself/Host
Andy Williams....   Host (2 episodes)
Donna Douglas....   Letters Girl (1957)

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