You’ll Never Believe Who Got Their First TV Appearance on the Variety Show ‘The Hollywood Palace’

THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, 1964-70, Bing Crosby, 1969 premiere season episode
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Brought on by ABC in January 1964 as a midseason replacement for another variety series, the very short-lived The Jerry Lewis Show, The Hollywood Palace enjoyed a much more successful run, continuing until February 1970. As the show’s original title over its first few weeks — The Saturday Night Hollywood Palace — indicated, it mostly aired on Saturday evenings (except for a brief stint on Mondays from September 1967-January 1968). And like another iconic Saturday night variety show that would come about a decade later — Saturday Night Live The Hollywood Palace was notable for having a different guest host each week.

THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, host Judy Garland (1965-66), 1964-1970

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Judy Garland hosts in 1965


Bing Crosby was the most frequent host, filling the role more than 30 times, including for the series’ first and last episodes, and a number of the Christmas shows. Plenty of that era’s other entertainment royalty also walked the stage of this Palace to guest-host, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Groucho Marx, Nat King Cole, Joan Crawford, Liberace, Fred Astaire, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, Phyllis Diller, Petula Clark, Diana Ross & the Supremes and many more. Acts included more typical performers like magicians and comedians, as well as some bigger and bolder presentations not seen on competing shows like Ed Sullivan, including acrobats and circus animals.

There was, of course, music, as well, and Palace notably featured the first U.S. television performance by the Rolling Stones in June 1964, and the first national TV appearance by the Jackson 5 in October ’69.


THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, Bette Davis, aired February 20, 1965

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Bette Davis, February 20, 1965


THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, Sammy Davis, Jr., Cass Elliot, 1964-1970 [1969 episode]

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Sammy Davis, Jr. & Mama Cass Elliot performing in 1969


THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, Phyllis Diller, Lamb Chop, Shari Lewis, (Season 5, Episode 16, aired January 2, 1968), 1964-70

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Phyllis Diller, Lamb Chop and Shari Lewis, January 2, 1968


THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, from left, Raquel Welch, Groucho Marx, episode aired September 26, 1967

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Raquel Welch and Groucho Marx, September 26, 1967


THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE, Milton Berle, Adam West [Batman], 1964-1970 [1966 episode]

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Milton Berle and Adam West as Batman, 1966
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