Sonny And Cher
Synopsis of TV Show
Without a doubt, Sonny and Cher was the celebrity couple that defined the 1970’s. Although they had scored their biggest musical successes in the late 1960’s with songs like “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On,” they achieved even greater prominence in the entertainment world through their lengthy and legendary stint as all-around entertainers on their classic 1970’s variety show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (later retitled The Sonny and Cher Show). This long-running program entertained audiences near and far as it raised Sonny and Cher from hitmakers to pop icons.
The Sonny and Cher television dynasty was sparked by a 1971 appearance on The Merv Griffin Show. Following a style that they had developed in their Vegas lounge act, the duo traded sweet songs and comic barbs in a style that was ideally suited to television. CBS executive Fred Silverman took note of their natural chemistry and signed the duo for their own variety show. The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour debuted as a summer replacement show in the summer of 1971.
The finished product was reminiscent of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which was no coincidence—The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour used the same producers and many of the same writers who helped craft that classic show. The new variety hour deftly mixed big-production musical numbers (usually highlighting the classic Sonny and Cher hits), sketch comedy, and comedic bickering between Sonny and Cher to become a big hit. In addition to this potent combo, there were guest appearances from classic showbiz figures like Ronald Reagan and George Burns, plus frequent cameos from Sonny and Cher’s adorable baby daughter Chastity. Each hour closed with a few final barbs, followed by a rendition of “I Got You, Babe.”
As Sonny and Cher became the TV phenomenon of the summer, CBS took note and gave the dazzling duo a regular prime time slot. The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour quickly became a regular fixture of the prime time Top-10. All was well until 1974, when Sonny and Cher decided to divorce and pursue solo careers. Both returned to prime time in 1975 with their own television vehicles, The Sonny Show and Cher. Each followed the same basic format as their previous hit, but neither one generated the magic they conjured up as a duo. As a result, the two stars decided to put aside their differences and reunite for the television cameras.
In February of 1976, the funniest ex-couple in showbiz returned in The Sonny and Cher Show. The reunited duo fared well enough in the ratings to continue into the next season before finally ending its run in the summer of 1977. Sonny and Cher would not formally reunite again until a late 1980’s appearance on Late Night With David Letterman, but their classic variety program has continued to live on through syndication (including a lengthy stint on TV Land). Though Sonny Bono passed away in 1998, The Sonny and Cher Show remains popular today thanks to reruns on cable stations like TV Land. The show's longevity proves that plenty of people still have a special place in their hearts for the old-fashioned showbiz charm of Sonny and Cher.
Release History of Prime Time Show8/1/71 - 5/29/74 CBS
2/1/76 - 8/29/77 CBS
TV Sub Categoriesvariety
Television StudioPaul Brownstein Productions
TV CastCo-Host Sonny Bono
Regular Performer(1973-74) Chastity Bono
Regular Performer(1971-72) Clark Carr
Regular Performer(1971-74) Peter Cullen
Regular Performer(1973-74) Bob Einstein
Regular Performer(1973-74) Teri Garr
Regular Performer(1971-74) Freeman King
Regular Performer(1971-74) Murray Langston
Regular Performer(1972-73) Steve Martin
Regular Performer(1971-72) Tom Solari
Regular Performer(1973-77) Billy Van
Regular Performer(1976) Jack L. Harrell
Regular Performer(1976) Gailard Sartain
Regular Performer(1976-77) Robert Shields
Regular Performer(1976-77) Lorene Yarnell
Regular Performer Ted Zeigler