Skip to comments."Only Jack Benny could top Sheen's ability to deliver a punch line"
Posted on 02/12/2009 10:31:45 AM PST by NYer
A cheerful wave of the deacon's stole to Doc Mac, who reminds us that today marks a little milestone in broadcast history, when Fulton Sheen made his TV debut.
The good doctor quotes one writer who described the archbishop's appeal thusly:
He was elegant, elevated, relaxed, often very funny. Only Jack Benny could top Sheen’s ability to back a punch line—gazing calmly at the camera the entire time. The shows had a precise formula. Sheen, wearing his bishop’s cross, crimson cape and skullcap, would stride into a parlorlike studio, pause, tell a funny story, and then pose the problem for the evening: Are we more neurotic today? How to deal with the rat race? With temptation? With teenagers? What is the nature of love? The meaning of intimacy?... He pulled it off without a hint of sectarianism. The philosophy was very Catholic, but few people would have noticed, and Sheen never mentioned the Church or Catholic doctrine. All at the same time, he managed to be religious, undogmatic, humane and unthreatening. Week after week, the performances were simply brilliant.Lest we forget, the cause for Fulton Sheen's canonization has been introduced at the Vatican. You can find out more at this website.
Click here for link to Archbishop Sheen's appearance on "What's My Line?".
That just made my day!
I’ve watched Dr. Sheen several times...he was one brilliant theologian — exceptionally well schooled and decisive on his logic for his presentations.
Before my time but my kids are sitting next to me and all of us got a kick out of this. Thanks!
Hmph. I thought this thread was about Charlie Sheen... what a surprise.
Bishop Sheen was aired on network TV, during "standard" viewing hours.
Can you imagine such a thing today?
He truly is the first 'televangelist'. Television programming was quite limited back in the 50's and Archbishop Sheen's audience included people of all faiths and denominations. He still draws a strong audience today, with reruns on EWTN. Is that where you saw his program, "Life is Worth Living"?
LOL, he won $50 on What’s my Line and the host says What are you going to do with ALL THAT MONEY?
Yes.....I watch his re-runs-before my time and I was raised Baptist.
That was quite a haul in the late 50's ;-). That game show was a lot of fun with very interesting guests.
There were only 3 channels back then with limited programming - all of it clean and wholesome, even the commercials. All stations would play the national anthem (against the backdrop of the American flag blowing in the breeze) before going off the air around 11pm, and again in the morning when they started up around 6am. Television was a form of entertainment, along with board games, bowling and sitting on the front porch talking with the neighbors.
Ironic that we are upgrading to digital when the quality of programming has deteriorated.
believe it or not, Charlie Sheen got his last name from the Archbishop. Martin Sheen originally had the last name Estevez, but took the stage name Sheen because of his admiration for the Archbishop.
Thanks! I’m watching Sheen on Youtube now!
It is interesting that a game show could then draw intellectual panelists like Random House publisher Bennett Cerf and David Niven.
Check out his exposition of Macbeth sometime. He seems absolutely transfixed.
God Bless his work and soul.
Quality programming wasn't limited to game shows. Take for example, actress Loretta Young who used her weekly show - The Loretta Young Show" to showcase catholic topics. EWTN broadcast the following program last night, on the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes.
Loretta Young's The Road To Lourdes And Other Miracles Of Faith
Originally broadcast as episodes of "The Loretta Young Show," the touching film "The Road" (1959) stars Young as a terminally ill woman who travels to Lourdes and has a life-changing experience at the famous shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary; Young plays Catholic nurse Sister Ann in "Three, and Two Please" (1956), bringing holiday cheer to her most difficult patients; "Sister Ann" (1959) shows Young helping to expand the care at a hospital; the touching episode "Faith, Hope and Mr. Flaherty" (1960) finds Sister Ann getting into hot water when she makes a secret investment. 3 1/3 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; featurettes; interviews; TV spots.
Available - only $14.99
We have Fr. Peyton to thank for the number of quality radio and television programs that featured some of Hollywood's top stars.
And then there were the blockbuster Hollywood productions like Spartacus, The Silver Chalice, Ben Hur, and the list goes on and on. They would always schedule their releases at Easter.
re: the title — I knew he couldn’t have been talking about Martin or Charley.