Back then I had little use for variety shows. Most featured music and acts I just didn't care for. Still, there were exceptions. I loved The Smothers Brothers in its entirety. Dick and Tom's folk songs were splendid, the other musical acts were people I actually listened to, and the skits were just on the edge enough to be quite subversive. After one of Pat Paulsen's "commentaries" I asked if I could send for a copy (they said you could at the end of every one). Dad said "Sure, just don't expect to get anything." So I did. I still have the one they sent in the envelope it was mailed in. As a teenager I actually used to go home from cruising for an hour on Saturday nights just to watch The Carol Burnett Show. Later I mostly enjoyed The Flip Wilson Show but it, or rather Flip, started to be the same old, same old every week and it grew tiresome. In the 60s it seemed like summers were nothing but variety shows. I mostly didn't like TV in the summers (but that didn't stop me from watching) as the networks would suspend most of the regular programs for summer fill-in variety shows and other test shows, most of which never made the regular schedule. No endless reruns like today as most shows were 30-38 episode seasons with few, if any at all, reruns. As you guys know - they'd start in August/September, not air during holiday weeks, and end in May or June to be gone until the next Fall if they returned at all and you rarely knew if they'd return until the TV Guide Fall Preview showed up at your house. Sometime in the 80s I noticed there weren't any variety shows on any more. It didn't bother me as they'd all somewhat degenerated into a very formulaic affair with the only differentiation being the host, and often they were so similar you could swap the host(s) around and few people would notice. A few years ago I got a hankering to see some of them again when I discovered episodes of The Carol Burnett Show were available on DVD. I purchased one of the sets and enjoyed it so much, again, that I purchased several more. That lead to discovering the greatest hits releases for The Smothers Brothers Show so I picked those up (man... I wish they'd do that one in full season sets!). Then I snagged a 6 disc set for The Dean Martin Show (the one from Time-Life), found Deano's show was excellent, and I remembered more of it than I'd thought I'd seen. I think the show with the balsa piano is in that set (can't easily check as it's in storage right now). I'd purchase a few more of his show. After getting on a huge Beatles nostalgia kick from watching Ron Howard's documentary I purchased discs of The Ed Sullivan Show which featured their appearances. Other than on clip shows and in documentaries I'd never seen those performances or shows in full before (we were at Church while Sullivan was on). I'd tried to be sick the night of those performances so I could stay home but it didn't work. Mom saw through the act. Sullivan *was* variety with such a huge range of acts on every show I've seen. Truly something for everyone. A feat few others pulled off. Then... I purchased a set with some very early Johnny Carson that had a sit-com he'd starred in during the 50s (and discovered that it's a fun show). That lead to picking up a few of the "Vault" sets of The Tonight Show. While I never watched that one with any regularity, watching those shows on disc hit home as to how much I miss being able to watch him on occasion. The current crop of late night shows just don't hold a candle to Carson. It's quite fun revisiting some of those old variety shows. Even so, I know I'd not bother watching if the format returned to the airwaves as I disconnected my TV from cable a couple of years ago in favor of 100% disc viewing and haven't looked back nor regretted the move. Every time I watch something with my wife or grandkids on her set (it's still on cable) I'm reminded of why I disconnected mine. It actually has little to do with the program content. There are some really good shows on and I purchase them on disc. It's the incessant commercial interruptions that drive me to distraction. It makes me appreciate my collection even more.