About The Sonny And Cher Comedy Hour
Planned as a six-episode summer replacement in 1971, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour did so well that CBS brought it back immediately as a weekly variety series. The stars were the husband and wife duo of Salvatore “Sonny” Bono and Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian, who met in 1962 and became creative and romantic partners soon after. Their 1965 hit “I Got You Babe” closed many episodes, often with an appearance by daughter Chastity Bono (born in 1969 and later to transition to male).
Sonny & Cher was an immediate success, in part, because of its unique combination of formats. The co-hosts opened each show with a monologue that cast Cher as the wise-cracking wife and Sonny as the put-upon husband, an unusually sitcom-like dynamic for a variety program. The series also brought youth appeal to the older-skewing format with young co-hosts – Cher was 25 when the series debuted – and contemporary pop acts like the Jackson Five.
Despite ratings in the top ten, Sonny & Cher came to an end when Sonny and Cher came to an end. The couple split up in 1974, but would reunite for another variety show, post-divorce, in 1976.
Notable guest stars: Burt Reynolds, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Lewis, Ricardo Montalbán, Andy Griffith, Carol Burnett, Tony Randall, Dick Clark, Tony Curtis, Glenn Ford, Danny Thomas, Carroll O'Connor, Telly Savalas
Musical guests: The Jackson Five, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Bobby Vinton, Dinah Shore, Jim Nabors, Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Peter Noone, The Coasters, Robert Merrill
Produced by Chris Bearde, Allan Blye, Garry Blye. Costumes by Bob Mackie, Ret Turner (Emmy nominees).