About The Perry Como Show
Viewers today may recognize Perry Como as the grandfatherly host of holiday specials in the 1970s and ‘80s, singing Christmas carols with celebrities. But, in his heyday as a handsome pop star, Como was the highest paid performer on television.
In 1959, Como scored a $25 million contract from sponsor Kraft Foods to become the name-above-the-title star of their weekly variety hour. (That long-running franchise had made the transition from radio to TV a year earlier.) With the Grammy and Emmy-winner at the helm, the show became a hit for NBC on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m.
Each week, Como welcomed musical, comedy, and quirky specialty acts in a relaxed hour that reflected his effortless sense of cool. Perry usually sang at the opening and close of each episode and often performed medleys with musical guests. He could also deliver comedy with an amused wink.
Como’s honey voice and low-key charm made him popular with audiences for decades. His final special aired in 1994, more than six decades after the former barber from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania began his career.
Notable guest stars: Lena Horne, Peter Nero, Johnny Puleo and his Harmonica Gang.
Created for NBC radio (as The Kraft Music Hall) in 1933. Produced for television by Perry Como’s Roncom Productions.