The Museum of Television

Exhibit: Variety

A variety show is entertainment made up of a variety of acts, especially musical performances and sketch comedy, and is normally introduced by a compère (master of ceremonies) or host. Other types of acts include magic, animal and circus acts, acrobatics, juggling and ventriloquism. The variety format made its way from Victorian era stage to radio to television. Variety shows were a staple of anglophone television from its early days (late 1940's) into the 1970s, and lasted into the 1980s. In several parts of the world, variety TV remains popular and widespread.

Some examples include The Ed Sullivan Show, In Living Color, The Muppet Show, and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

The Ed Sullivan Show The Carol Burnett Show The Muppet Show