When Variety Was King: Memoir of a TV Pioneer: Featuring Jackie Gleason, Sonny and Cher, Hee Haw, and More

Peppiatt, Frank

  • A television producer’s fascinating memoir of the golden age of the variety show

    “Full of behind-the-scenes stories . . . For fans of TV history, there’s a gold mine here.” — Booklist

    A humble Canadian boy who grew up to create iconic American TV shows featuring the Hollywood celebrities of the day, Frank Peppiatt made his breakthrough by developing the rock TV show Hullabuloo with his partner, John Aylesworth. That led to a writing gig for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé — and then to the long-running smash hit Hee Haw.

    In this autobiography, he recounts a career that spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s, writing comedy and turning entertainers into household names on variety shows hosted by Jackie Gleason, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Sonny and Cher, and Perry Como. This anecdote-filled memoir of a bygone era will enthrall anyone interested in the early decades of television.

    Check availability at your local Canadian independent bookstore:

    Remember that most stores can easily order books they don’t currently have in stock.

  • Frank Peppiatt passed away in November 2012 after finishing this memoir.

  • Published: April 2013

    ISBN: 9781770410299

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 300


“For fans of TV history, there’s a gold mine here.” — Booklist

When Variety Was King is an enjoyable look back at a long lost TV genre from behind the typewriter of a harried, talented, humble Canadian writer who modestly carved a niche for himself as an unsung hero of the golden age of television, who had a lot of fun and had very few regrets throughout such an impressive showbiz career.” — West End Times

“[These] stories are informative and interesting, especially for those are hooked on celebrities.” — Winnipeg Free Press