Talent Showsby Tyler Woods on Jan. 20, 2010, under Life
Oh my God it’s that time again. Yes it is American Idol folks. We get to watch Simon Cowell be rude to fat people, snub good talent and laugh in the faces of bad talent. If we decide to watch this over rated talent show, we also get to witness a host of people making pure fools of themselves, some intentionally some quite un-intentionally. The show might be more palatable now the Paula is gone. She was a little too ditzy for me, yet I am sure we will miss her drug induces frame of mind and out of touch comments. I did catch a few moments of it last week and I caught myself laughing as 61 year-old Larry Platt sang his original song “Pants on the Ground” making fun of the silliest fad this country has ever known and that is those who wear their pants almost to their thighs, I simply crack up every time I see someone like that and Larry made a song about it. I watched a few moments last night and it got me thinking….
There really have always been talent shows since the beginning of TV. The American Idol concept certainly isn’t new. In fact, it all started over 60 years ago in 1948. Good old Arthur Godfrey had a show called Talent Scouts, where struggling singers got a chance to perform before a studio audience. Hundreds of phone calls were not made by the same person over and over to vote. Nope, they were judged by an applause meter. His show ran until 1958.
In 1948 there was also “Amateur Hour” where a wheel would be spun to determine the order of the performers which could be singers, tap-dancers, jugglers, and comedians. In fact you might recognize some of the performers. Let’s see people like, Gladys Knight and Pat Boone appeared on this talent show.
Live at the Apollo used to do amateur nights and boosted many artists such as James Brown, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers, to stardom .
Variety shows and talk shows took over for a while. Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin Show, The Pat Boon Show, Andy Williams, Helen Reddy, Glen Campbell, Smothers Brothers sort of all took over the talent show with variety hours.
Then in 1976 the talent show decided to come back by way of crazy and insane. You know what I am talking about. Yep, the Gong Show. I thought it was just a comedy or a parody to say the least and was hosted by Chuck Barris. It was really a joke but people went on the show in desperate hopes of being discovered and winning a few bucks.
Star Search helped launch the careers for many people including Christina Aguilera, Drew Carey, Bobbie Brown, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Sinbad, Beth Hart, Rosie O’Donnell, LeAnn Rimes, Ray Romano and Usher to name a few. It actually ran from 1983 to 1995 and found so many stars that it was launched again from 2002-2004.
Now, Americans seem to have a fascination with talent shows. Maybe they are bored with the current talent. Whatever the reason, America’s Got Talent, Rock Star, Dancing With the Stars, So you Think You Can Dance, and God knows what else will come out today, tomorrow or next month, talent shows are making a big come back. The question remains, how much can we digest?