Hollywood Stars vs Variety Show Hosts: The incompatible case of Frank Sinatra on 1950s Television

McNally, Karen (2012) Hollywood Stars vs Variety Show Hosts: The incompatible case of Frank Sinatra on 1950s Television. European Journal of American Culture, 31 (2). pp. 107-121. ISSN 14660407

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Abstract / Description

This article considers the identity of the variety show host on 1950s American television, exploring how Frank Sinatra’s poorly received assumption of the role reveals its strictly limited alignment with a perceived middle-class suburban family audience. Television’s attempt to invest its stars with a sense of the everyday in contrast to the extraordinary glamour provided by Hollywood guest stars is examined in the context of the positioning of Dinah Shore and Perry Como as idealised archetypes of the host identity. Exploring the critical reception of Frank Sinatra as both a variety show host and guest, as well as the unconventional star image presented through his performances on the small screen, the article argues that Sinatra explicitly illustrates the distinct ways in which the roles of variety show host and guest star were defined around the oppositions of television and Hollywood, comfort and disruption, ordinary and extraordinary, and suburban and urban.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Frank Sinatra, 1950s American television, Variety show host, Hollywood stars, Dinah Shore, Perry Como
Subjects: 700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 780 Music
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 790 Recreational & performing arts
900 History & geography > 970 History of North America
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Karen Mcnally
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:03
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/752


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