TV’s old-new stars prove that laughs can begin at 40

Top row (from left): Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Bob Hope (48), Groucho Marx and Eddie Cantor. Middle row (from left): Ken Murray (48), Ed Wynn (65), and Bobby Clark. Bottom Row: George Burns, Gracie Allen and Jimmy Durante.

Television had a distinctly different look back in 1951, and it wasn’t just the black and white screen.

The relatively new medium of TV had stars that were older than those of today’s television. As Look Magazine pointed out in April 1951, laughs began at 40.

Although they are called “new” stars on the cover, they were “old” veteran radio personalities. As networks moved from radio to network, it made sense to depend on the past radio success of these stars.

Although labeled “laughs begin at 40,” it could have said 50, as the average age of those pictured was 56. There were two “babies” in the group at only 48, while one was 65. Can you guess who?

See how many comedians Johnson City Press readers can identify:

Top row (from left): Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Bob Hope (48), Groucho Marx and Eddie Cantor.

Middle row (from left): Ken Murray (48), Ed Wynn (65), and Bobby Clark.

Bottom Row: George Burns, Gracie Allen and Jimmy Durante.

Reach Bob Cox at boblcox@bcyesteryear.com or www.bcyesteryear.com.