The Hank McCune Show aired from September until December 1950 on NBC.
This early filmed situation comedy starred " likable blunderer" Hank McCune ( playing himself), as the host of a television show who was constantly getting himself into comic predictaments of his own making.For example on the first telecast Hank attended a convention held by his sponsor, Peter Paul Candy Bars in Atlantic City, where he proceeded to foul up the hotel reservations, infuriate lifeguards, and disrupt the neighboring convention of a mystic fraternity order. Larry Keating played Hank's sidekick. Others in the cast were Arthur Q. Brien, Sarah Berner, Frank Nelson, Tammy Kipper, Hanley Stafford, George Cleveland, and Florence Bates. The program was filmed in Hollywood and first ran as a local series in New York in 1949.
The comedy on The Hank McCune Show was pure slapstick and the show quickly disappeared from the air. However, one aspect of it has remained with us, with a vengeance. Toward the end of it's review of the first telecast Variety knoted, almost incidentally that the progaram
.......has an inovation in a sound track that contains audience laughter. Although the show is lensed on film without a studio audience , their are chuckles and yocks dubbed in. Whether this induces a jovial mood in home viewers is still to be determined, but the practice may have unlimited possibilities if its spread to include canned peals of hilarity, thunderous ovations and gasps of sympathy.
This is the earliest documented use of a laugh track on tv.
A syndicated version of The Hank McCune Show, with a different supporting cast, was seen briefly in 1953-1954.
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