Season: 1 (The Sonny & Cher Show)
Guest(s): Jim Nabors
CBS Air Date: February 22, 1976
Also aired: Never re-aired
Thanks to Jay for the run-down on this lost episode.
Opening Song: "Gotta Get You Into My Life" (Audio Only)
Cover of the Beatles (1966)
"Hit it mama!" and Cher for the big finish.
Sonny & Cher covered this song a lot, on episodes #6, #17 and #40 of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Cher also covered the song on #3 of her solo show. They also recorded the song on their first Live album in 1971.
Opening Banter: Sonny tells Cher how pretty she looks tonight and that she sometimes inspires him. Sonny does another Fair Cher poem similar to the ones he did on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Cher seems tentative about the poem per usual. Sonny says the audience gives him "the gas" he needs to perform. Cher then makes a joke about Sonny's gas and how he give the audience gas. There's a short joke and a nose joke.
Vamp: This time the piano is white and the set is very bright.
+ Jim Nabors and Sonny are U.S. Soldiers in World War II at a French cafe with a secret message to pass on but German spies are listening. Cher comes on as Mata Hari, the Dutch exotic dancer and spy, and tries to get intersept the secret papers.
+ Cher is a Minnie-Mouse-like character called Lily who is seeking a star to be in her act. The Three Mouse Brothers (a spoof of The Marx Brothers) arrive (Sonny, Jim Nabors and Billy Van). Sonny holds a cigar and raises big eyebrows like Groucho Marx.
+ Sadie Thompson is back! Drunks in the bar are crying to Sonny, the preacher, becasue Saidie has been gone for two years (actually since the demise of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour). Cher comes in dressed in a white robe. She is the reformed Sadie. She has been gone on a meditation retreat. Nabors arrives as a rich playboy looking for a girlfriend. Sadie rips off the robe to reveal her former red dress. Sonny tells Cher he thought she had found herself while doing meditation for two years. Sadie says she's now found herself a millionaire and she leaves with Nabors.
Skit: The Bicentennial Minute. This was a spoof on shorts about the Bicentennial the networks did in 1976. The Carol Burnett Show also did these spoofs. Nabors plays King George III giving his rebuttal to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War. Cher plays his wife.
Concert: "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" (Audio Only)
Cover of Mac Davis (1972)
I love this song. Cher is wearing a green gown and Sonny is wearing a green suit and shirt matches Cher's dress. (Thank you Jay for giving these outfit description a go). Sonny makes this kinda creepy though. The version Cher did with Mac Davis was better.
The French Foreign Legion: Glad these guys are back. They're in the Moroccan Dessert in 1922 and they want to abandon their fort because they're taking on losses. Billy Van is the commander and he tries to give the legion hope and encouragement but he doesn't succeed.
Cher Solo: "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" (Audio Only)
Cher's own song (1966)
Cher wears a blue gown. They are re-asserting their more ethnic version here. Nice to hear Cher's 1970s version as we already have a 1960s and 1980s version, but only Sonny gave us a previous ,over-the-top, "Italian boogie-woogie" version in 1973 (with its male-stripper suggestive interlude) from their second Live album. (I do like the crazy horns on this production though). And when Sonny says "it gets big," rumor has it...
The Operetta: Cast members sing about the virtues of the network's family hour. They do a spoof of The Waltons called The Walnuts. Nabors plays Jim Boy, Cher plays Mrs. Walnut and the rest of the cast fills out the big family. Sonny plays a killer at large, Pretty Boy Bono Bob, who tries to use their house as a hideout. Grandpa tries to milk everything, from the car to Bono Bob's getaway car. It explodes when Bono Bob starts it up. This happens off-stage and Bono Bob returns in tatters. The sheriff arrives to arrest Bono Bob and he gives the Walnuts a reward which they use to buy Jim Boy glasses. He can now see to write and he produces a TV script about "a poor rual family who likes to milk cows." When asked what the show is called he says The Tony Orlando & Dawn Show. The cast then all sings "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree."
IGUB: Sonny thanks their guest Jim Nabors and tells Cher that Nabors should have his own variety show. Cher agrees and said she tried to get Nabors a variety show but Jim didn't want to take Sonny's job away from him. The sing IGUB and walk off.