Season: 4 (The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour)
Guest(s): The Jackson 5, Sally Struthers, Tennessee Ernie Ford
CBS air date: Date: January 30, 1974
Also aired: TV Land, GetTV
Cher, as Barbara Nauseous, her Barbara Walters spoof, interviews movie-goers who have just seen The Exorcist. It's nice of the show to plug William Friedkin's new hit movie, since his first feature length directorial debut was the Sonny & Cher movie Good Times. People are coming out of the theater freaked out, reflecting news reports of Exorcist views at the time. The Jackson 5 come out and then Sally Struthers (who was dating the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour's director Art Fisher) comes out very calm and nothing horrifies her after finding out she has three scenes on the show with Sonny Bono.
Opening Song: “Take Life a Little Easier” (Video, 2:36)
Cover of Rodney Allen Rippy (1973)
They also sang this song on episode #56 in the same outfits but with a different show introduction, different banter and different breakout skits. Cher is wearing light green with white flat hoop earrings. Sonny still sports the medallion. Cher seems more confident.
Breakout 1: A Persian prison. Ted is going to sell or torture prisoners Cher and Teri Garr. This is a foreshadowing of Cher's 1979 Prisoner album cover. The cast and The Jackson 5 bid on Teri. Ted calls Cher a raven-haired beauty. Sonny wins the but for Cher but she says she would rather be tortured.
Banter: Cher has a cold and is coughing but seems happy. They get lots of applause. Sonny calls it "an ovation." Cher says it's because Sonny didn't fall off his platform shoes. Sonny says his first love is theater and that he's a great actor. That he's acting right now (which is very true; they both were giving their greatest performances as a duo pretending to be still a couple). Sonny says it's not easy playing the part of a buffoon. He said as a kid he had the lead in a school play called "The Bunnies Visit the Fruit Market" and his teacher told him he was "the best singing banana" she ever heard. Cher says he still sings like a banana. Sonny talks about doing the play Hamlet in High School. He mis-pronounces 'recitation' as 'resuscitation." He surprises Cher trying to kiss her. Sonny mistakenly says "dry oy" instead of "dry eye" and they both crack up. Cher says, "I didn't know you were Jewish."
Skit: Sonny plays a reporter interviewing scientists Cher (age 72), Sally Struthers (84) and Teri Garr (a 92 redhead). Something gender-bending about men who have become women. Not sure about my notes on these.
Solo: "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" (Video)
Cover of Simon and Garfunkel (1970)
Cher wears a blue wrap with her hair pulled back into an Navajo/Diné-inspired bun. She sings in front of a blue light. She seems more confident here. This solo introduces frames inserted of Cher from different perspectives. She wears silver earrings and two big, beautiful turquoise bracelets and rings on each hand. Her jewelry looks Navajo/Diné. She shows her nails. The reworking of the song doesn't quite take off.
Skit: Cher as Barbara Nauseous (TV Land only) interviews astronauts Peter Cullen, Murray Langston and Ted Zeigler and the new guy Tennessee Earnie Ford. They sing a goofy song. Teri Garr and Freeman King participate. They make fun of Cher's cold.
Mr. and Ms.: Sonny sings the Vamp song. Sally Struthers plays a sexist woman. Sonny & Cher talk about divorce. Cher leaves with Sally.
Guest Spot: The Jackson 5 perform "Dancing Machine" (Video)
An awkward start (and an awkward age for Michael) but the songs takes off, as you would expect, when Michael takes the lead and does the robot.
Window on the Word: Michael Jackson sits in the group, Cher sits in her rocking chair. Topics include: the press secretary, football, teamsters, Henry Kissinger (really running things), Israel and Egypt (there's a blonde girl hanging on to Sonny, but for some reason he looks sad), weight lifting, Hemberger Helper, long hair, cultural heritage, Sally Struthers married to a bear, water bugs in cars, bull fighting, gas prices (now Sonny has a brunette on his lap; are they preparing America for something?).
Fairy Tale Vamp: A fairy tale vamp sequence opening with Cher, Teri Garr and Sally Struthers as fairy Andrew Sisters.
- Sexy Goldilocks. Sally as Mae West. Cher is sniffling. There's a Sonny painting on the wall.
- Rapunzel. Cher shows her nails and laughs at Sonny who plays a prince. The set is very cute.
- Raggedy Sonny and Raggedy Cher (I LOVE THESE). Raggedy Cher complains she is a "sox" object with small boobs. Jill St. John, Joey Heatherton and Raquel Welch are referenced for their "goodies." Cher is joining the Raggedy Liberation Movement and knitting a bra to burn. Sally Struthers comes in as the Ravon Lady.
IGUB: Chastity is in light green too. They don't sing a song during these re-airings.
TV Land and GetTV's orders were different for some reason. The order above is the TV Land Order. Get TV order: Intro, Duet, Breakout, Dialogue, Fairy Tales (Rapunzel, Raggedy S&C, no goldilocks), Mr. and Ms., "Dancing Machine," Window on the World, Sonny interviews scientist Cher, Solo, IGUB. Also Chris Bearde has started listing his name as Chrisbearde sometimes around here. The announcer says "Also appearing" and lists the main cast along with Jenny Merin and Robert Polaska. Not sure about those names. I couldn't find them online in reference to the show and may have the spelling wrong.
Highlights: Raggedy Sonny & Cher, The Jackson 5