In this rare clip from a 1952 episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour, Donald O’Connor and his underrated partner in comedy Sid Miller have the Tin Pan Alley blues. Try and try as they might, the next “White Christmas” is eluding the starving, freezing would-be hit-makers. They proceed to spoof the classic genre in side-splitting style.
“Beethoven said in order to write great music you gotta suffer.”
“We gotta suffer.”
I have marked off the ending of the skit before they segue into some impressions pairing up famous actors, but that skit is pure gold too, so if you like you can hover ’til you see an “x” and click ‘n’ drag to keep watching (or just go here and skip forward). If you know anything about old movies, you’ll love their takes on Edward G. Robinson + Lionel Barrymore, Ronald Colman + Peter Lorre, Bing Crosby + Barry Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Cagney + Jimmy Stewart. Donald’s Bing and Stewart are spot-on and it’s all quite wonderful. Plus, 50s product placement: “Ah Bing my boy, I tell you from the bottom of my heart, your voice is as fine as Fab, as brilliant as Halo, and as powerful as Ajax.”