Variety Time

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Variety Time was the first of three "vaudeville-on-film" pastiches released by RKO Radio, each one comprised of highlights from earlier RKO productions. Hosted by Jack Paar (displaying only a fraction of the charisma he'd exhibit as late-night TV talk host), the film is a compendium of musical numbers, short subjects, and the occasional "new" comedy routine involving Paar and his perennial foil Hans Conried. Highlights include a Frankie Carle number from Riverboat Rhythm, a comedy adagio dance from Seven Days Leave, a hot Latin tune from Pan-America, and an excised dance sequence from Show Business. Two comedy short subjects were also included, in their entirety: Edgar Kennedy's I'll Build it Myself and Leon Errol's Hired Husband. Since it cost practically nothing to make, Variety Time couldn't help but post a tidy profit, encouraging future minings of the RKO Radio film vaults.


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