The Big Show, an American radio variety program featuring 90 minutes of comic, stage, screen and music
talent, was aimed at keeping American radio in its classic era alive and well against the rapidly growing television tide. For a
good portion of its two-year run (November 5, 1950 – April 20, 1952), the show's quality made its ambition seem plausible. Hosted
by stage actress Tallulah Bankhead, The Big Show began November 5, 1950, on NBC with a stellar line-up of guests: Fred Allen,
Mindy Carson, Jimmy Durante, José Ferrer, Portland Hoffa, Frankie Laine, Russell Knight, Paul Lukas, Ethel Merman, Danny Thomas
and Meredith Willson. To make sure no one missed the launch, NBC ran in Sunday newspapers across the country an illustrated
advertisement displaying headshots of Allen, Bankhead, Carson, Durante and Merman.