Friday, July 21, 2023

YouTube Spotlight: Milton Berle vs. Joe Flaherty

We mentioned this in our Show Notes post yesterday, but Milton Berle is not in the Texaco special mentioned in our bonus episode this week, but how can you not think of Milton when you think of Texaco Star Theater? So we included this clip in the video playlist:

This is one of those times when Wikipedia summarizes it quite well, but basically Berle shows the SCTV guys no respect, and Genius Winner Joe Flaherty tries to defer to him but can't help snapping back a bit. Miltie didn't really like sharing the spotlight, did he?

What I wonder is, who made Milton Berle the time police? He and Martha Raye are presenters, not the hosts of the ceremony. I guess he just took it upon himself to try to dismiss the next generation of comedy.

Catherine O'Hara remembers this moment in a 2020 Entertainment Weekly piece reflecting on an Emmy win for Schitt's Creek. The story notes that SCTV responded, in a manner, to the incident with a parody sketch the next season that featured Flaherty pummeling a Berle stand-n and telling him he would never ruin another acceptance speech!

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