So, I started writing about the "Colgate Comedy Hour" and got side-tracked about variety shows. I like the "Colgate Comedy Hour" as they had recurring celebrity guests. I'm watching a set on DVD which apparently has all 28 episodes featuring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as hosts.
Abbott and Costello were frequent hosts, as was Fred Allen, Eddie Cantor and Donald O'Connor.
The shows were done live and although rehearsed, there was a lot of free-wheeling adlibbing involved, especially in the Martin and Lewis episodes which caused them to cut-up A LOT! It was and is really, really funny.
In any case, a show like this is needed today and also the DVD sets of the older available episodes are a must see!