The Bobby Darin Show (1973– )
The Bobby Darin Show aired on NBC-TV in 1973, the same year of Bobby's untimely passing. The thirteen shows represent the last chapter in the career of an iconic artist who would span genres and generations. His songs remain timeless with a voice that has stayed vital.
- This show was preceded by a 7-episode summer series in 1972, titled "The Bobby Darin Amusement Company." When the show premiered as a regular series, in January 1973, it was titled simply, "The Bobby Darin Show" (But it kept the name "Amusement Company" for the production company name, listed at the end credits).The show features Darin playing characters in vignettes with his guest stars and co-stars --with the women, he plays Groucho Marx, a favorite impression in those days; he and his friend, Richard ("Dick") Bakalyan, portray a couple of guys from "the old Neighborhood"--Angie and Carmine, who converse about various things. Darin has a singing duet with his beautiful female guest star every week (Nancy Sinatra, Connie Stevens, Cloris Leachman, Freda Payne, Helen Reddy, Petula Clark, and more), whilst gazing into their eyes, sexily. These sizzling duets included: Cloris Leachman, Petula Clark and Freda Payne; Connie Stevens' duet with him was less sexy than very friendly and joyous. The best was with the great Nancy Sinatra. Funniest was episode one where the lights came up on the two figures seated close together, and it transpired that it was Flip Wilson sitting close to Darin, and he made a kissing motion. Another favorite character of Darin is "The Godmother," who seems to be magical, as "she" appears in a puff of smoke to whomever she chooses to talk with. But this character is not sweet and fluffy like a fairy-tale godmother, but is a riff on the then-new popular movie "The Godfather" (I assume Darin had created this character for his first try at a series in summer 1972, when the Godfather had recently premiered). "The Godmother" wears a gray wig in a bun held by chopsticks, a shawl with a brooch-clasp and black mid-length dress and black stockings and talks tough, like she will personally hit someone, but is funny. On one show, before going to commercial break, "she" said to the camera: "Don't you-a change the dial---or I'll change-a your face!" shaking his/her fist.
Geoff Edwards, then appearing on many NBC TV shows (later Jackpot and The New Treasure Hunt) portrayed various characters in sketches, and wherever an announcer or interviewer character was needed. He also played a comic drunk in the city-tributes, which occurred almost every week, with the ensemble singing songs and performing sketches about the history of the city. Darin would name the famous people born there.
A recurring guest star is 8-year-old Charlene Wong, who appeared in epsiodes #1, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12. She either sang in a bit (Flower Drum Song's "A Hundred Million Miracles" in a San Francisco tribute) or she sat onstage and joked with Darin. Their rapport made Charlene's appearances a fan favorite. On one show, a young fan sent in a cartoon drawing of Darin and of Wong.
At the beginning of every show, after Darin sings his opening number, he gets "mail" --which is a letter from an audience member, strung from the "ceiling" onto a giant paperclip. It is a genuine fan letter, not a comedy bit. At the end of every show, he wraps with "Mack the Knife," sung in its entirety.
Roger Carroll is the announcer for the series, at beginning and end.