BetteBack 1975: Cher Special Will Feature Duets

San Mateo Times
Bob Foster
February 6, 1975

There is no question that when Sonny Bono started his “Sonny Comedy Hour” he missed Cher. The absence of Cher was one of the real reasons for the show failing to make it through the season. Not only did Sonny’s show lack writing, it lacked comedy.

Next Wednesday night, Cher will try it on her own. This show, a special designed to kick off her new series, came off much better than did Sonny’s solo venture in television.

It was the presence of Cher that made the old “Sonny and Cher Show” a success. The girl can wear clothes like a high fashion model. The opening segments of the show looked like a model’s resume and book of photos.

It would be hard to say that Cher’s first effort is as good as the “Sonny and Cher Show,” but it is certainly much better in every respect than was the “Sonny” affair.

We couldn’t help but think as we watched a preview of the show bow far television had come. The gown that Cher wears is an eye catcher. At one point she says “Let’s hear it for the dress” and also “Let’s hear it for the back of the dress too.” Neither had a great deal of material. Twenty years ago when Faye Emerson appeared on various television shows there was always the last minute bit of gauze placed to keep the cameras from getting too familiar with the gal. These days it isn’t a problem at all. In fact, a little less dress and it wouldn’t have made any difference.

It is quite a cast of guests that showed up to help Cher launch her new show. Flip Wilson is on hand with some high humor and Elton John flew over from London to entertain with some of his tunes. Bette Midler also flew over to help out. One thing about the show – all of the guests did more than just appear with their particular talents. They took part in the fun and music. Bette Midler and Cher joined in a duet.

Unfortunately there seems to be something missing, and it just may be Sonny. These two may not be as lucky as were Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis when they split; but one recalls that when they broke up all the “experts” were sure both would disappear completely from the scene.

Actually, this show was to have been seen next Sunday night but was delayed until Wednesday to keep it from competing with “Airport” which is being seen on ABC television.

Because “Airport” is a repeat, CBS and NBC might be unduly cautious. The record recently has been that high-rated movies don’t do that well the second time around.

On Sunday night, Feb. 16, the new Cher Show will start its regular run, which CBS hopes will be a long one.

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