How do you split up the most popular TV couple in America? That was the dilemma facing Sonny Bono and Cher when the singing duo ended both their marriage and their top ten comedy/variety series in 1974.
Sonny took almost all of the cast and crew and moved to a new show at ABC. Cher stayed at CBS with veteran producer George Schlatter (Laugh-In). Cher retained musical director Jimmy Dale and costume designer Bob Mackie and survived for two seasons. The Sonny Comedy Revue was cancelled after seven weeks – before Cher even reached the air.
Not surprisingly, Cher’s solo show places a greater emphasis on music. She sings throughout every show, including duets with unusually big name guests for weekly variety. Sketches tend to be less broad and demonstrate more of the acting talent that would bring her an Oscar for Moonstruck in 1988.
“You’re the kind of person who, in fifty year’s time, will still be going strong,” Elton John says to Cher in the emotional first episode. He had no idea how right he would be.
Notable guest stars: Carol Burnett, Tony Randall, Lily Tomlin, Flip Wilson, Ted Knight, Redd Foxx, Dennis Weaver
Musical guests: David Bowie, Bette Midler, Elton John, the Jackson Five, Gregg Allman, LaBelle,
Produced by George Schlatter. Costumes by Bob Mackie, Ret Turner (Emmy nominees).