The David Steinberg Show ran on the CTV network in 1972 and I am pretty sure I remember it being rerun from time to time. The 21 shows collected here are probably the complete series and a boon to the serious comedy fan. If you are unfamiliar with The David Steinberg show just think of The Larry Sanders show some 25 years earlier with the variety show replacing the talk show concept or an updated Jack Benny Show or Burns And Allen. Fans of SCTV will very much enjoy seeing the early work of such staples Dave Thomas, John Candy, Joe Flaherty. Martin Short is simply manically brilliant as Johnny Del Bravo.
The show opens with a stand-up routine by David Steinberg much like the Leno, Carson, or Letterman monologue. The monologue is not always successful, there are definitely canned yuks added, and the weird thing is Steinberg is using a mic though he already has one clipped on his tie. Then either the guest of the week or Johnny Del Bravo (a very bad lounge singer) interrupt and the action continues across the street at the Hello Deli where Bill Saluga plays the owner. This is the show within a show as you can see the David Steinberg Show broadcast being shown on the television over the lunch counter while David or his guests drop in.
This was obviously not a high budget TV show (CTV has rarely produced one aside from Corner Gas) and that explains the mostly B-list celebrity guests such as Avery Schreiber, flash-in-the-pan Underwood Deviled Ham pitchman or pitchkid Mason Reese, Conrad Bain, or has-beens such as Ethel Merman, Joseph Campanella, or Milton Berle. Particularly enjoyable is the Ed McMahon appearance where he does his imitation of W.C. Fields, that of Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers, and Bob and Ray doing their slow talker routine.
The Koch Vision 4 DVD set features crisp picture quality, the original cartoon and later David arriving at the theatre show openings. Most interesting and a good idea is the interview with David Steinberg where he basically walks you through the history of comedy as he has lived it over the past forty or so years.
Scatman Crothers and Mason Reese
Bob & Ray
Bill Macy and Samantha Harper
Interview with David Steinberg