“The Sonny And Cher Comedy Hour”: Where Is The Cast Now?

2 years ago

The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour was a variety show starring the pop duo of Cher and Sonny Bono. When the couple divorced in 1974, the show was canceled but revived in 1976 as the (quite similar) Sonny and Cher Show. The Sonny and Cher Show ran for two additional seasons, ending in 1977. During its disjointed five-year run, the Sonny and Cher collaboration won an Emmy, flaunted a gorgeous array of Bob Mackie designs, and featured many popular guest stars. Some notable cast members included Teri Garr, Murray Langston, Steve Martin, Peter Cullen, Billy Van, Carol Burnett, Ted Zeigler, and Freeman King. So where are they now?

Cher and Sonny became friends, then lovers, during the early 1960s. Cherilyn Sarkisian was only 16-years-old when she left home to become a performer in Los Angeles and she met not long after. The older Sonny was a somewhat established songwriter who worked for the (now infamous) pop record producer Phil Spector. Instantly recognizing Cher’s unique talent, Sonny wanted to represent her solo career. But suffering from severe stage fright, Cher preferred when Sonny got on stage with her to sing harmonies. This is also why Cher, so often, performed while looking into Sonny’s eyes.

The Hollywood pair marketed themselves as Caesar and Cleo, but didn’t find much success. In 1965, they rebranded as Sonny and Cher (who is a successful Golden Globe winner) and released their “I Got You Babe.” It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and remains one of the most treasured love duets of all time. Now superstars, Sonny and Cher’s funky fashions began to catch on. At the start of their career together, they donned bell-bottoms, frilly shirts, and fur vests. With her jet-black, pin-straight hair, Cher’s vamp style instantly influenced trends. And her statuesque figure, next to the short mustachioed Sonny, made for a funny combination. Enhanced by their on-stage banter, it didn’t take long before Sonny and Cher had a television variety show of their own: The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.

Although some of the comedy is pretty cheesy by today’s standards, more than 30 million viewers tuned in weekly on Sunday Nights to The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The TV show was praised for the central couple’s comedic timing: usually a sarcastic Cher mocking Sonny’s unusual looks. Americans were drawn to the seemingly authentic warmth that radiated from the Bono family, especially during shares musical numbers. The CBS show also marks the early roots of Cher’s illustrious acting career, as she honed a range characters through short, goofy skits. She also emerged, further, a style icon thanks to the immaculate costumes designed by the endlessly creative Bob Mackie; his creations were the highlight of every episode.

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