1950s TV shows introduced us to classic sitcoms, daring dramas, and a whole lot more. This was a decade of innovation and excitement, and the shows below were some of the best at reflecting this unique time.
The Colgate Comedy Hour
The Colgate Comedy Hour was a variety show that brought comedy, music, and assorted guest entertainers into American living rooms. The series premiered in 1950 with guests Martin and Lewis and ended its 6-year run in 1955. This was a true original and the perfect example of the great variety shows of the past.
Candid Camera was the originator of the hidden camera show concept that is so popular today. We would not have Punked, Impractical Jokers, or so many others if it had not been for this classic. The idea of using cameras to capture the reactions of real people was a radical concept in comedy. It, however, was a concept that paid off.
Of course, cop dramas have been around as long as television. Dragnet, however, began as a radio show and went on to be a dominating force on screen. The television series originally ran from 1951 to 1959, had a 1954 film adaptation, and a revival in 1967. Furthermore, the show inspired generations of cop dramas including a remake in the 2000s.
Raymond Burr played the title role in this classic legal drama. It’s hard to watch a modern courtroom film or series and not feel the influence of Perry Mason. As a character, Mason was someone who would do anything it takes to uncover the truth. This typically led to surprise courtroom revelations revealing the real perpetrator and exonerating Mason’s client. The formula kept audiences tuning in for nearly a decade.
Leave It To Beaver
When you think of 1950s TV shows, it’s hard to not fondly recall Leave It To Beaver. Even though it came out in the latter part of the decade, this 1957 series captures the innocence of early family sitcoms. For six seasons and 234 episodes, American families followed the adventures of the Clever Family in this ’50s classic.