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Series Fun Facts
- During the first two (televised in black and white) seasons, Liberace performed as a guest with Jimmy Durante (host -#16-4/18/64) and with Milton Berle (host -#11-12/4/66). Liberace…
[show]During the first two (televised in black and white) seasons, Liberace performed as a guest with Jimmy Durante (host -#16-4/18/64) and with Milton Berle (host -#11-12/4/66). Liberace performed as host (during the second mid-season B&W -#15-1/9/65) with Edward G. Robinson in a dance routine of "Me And My Shadow"; Shani Wallace, and Rowan and Martin (comedy team) were guests. In the third "color season", Vanoff built Liberace's second host assignment as a "Liberace Special Appearance" (season -#22-2/26/66); featuring a different piano from Liberace's piano collection in each of his keyboard segments. The art department design team met with Liberace at his Hollywood Boulevard Sunset Strip home to review the collection. Liberace's Louis XIV style concert grand piano case instrument was the show's opening showcase, featured on a 2-step (12" high) semi-circular platform, with double (framed) doors featured at the platform back edge. After the first opening piano number, the double doors snapped closed, revealing a mirrored double door setting. A musical dance number featuring Hollywood Palace Showgirls concluded the show's opening number. A honky-tonk upright featured Liberace performing New Orleans' piano jazz. Liberace also performed on his Ebony Black Baldwin Concert Grand with the 1" thick plastic-glass raised on the clear glass stick. This Baldwin was Liberace's West Coast performance grand piano with his crystal candelabra, which had a duplicate twin piano, located on the East Coast (in storage, used on his Eastern Coast appearances, Candelabra included). The HP design team rented four other candelabras for the other instruments used during the show's segments. Lee considered pulling his pipe organ, to use on the show as well, but Jim Trittipo convinced Liberace the show would need another TV musical hour. The honky-tonk upright piano was stored in the residence's subterranean hillside-garage. Liberace, conducting the seek-the-piano-house tour, explained to the design team his leisure past time home decorating hobby; gluing gold tassel fringe to all the pieces of furniture, to the ceilings crown molding, to the window draped lambrican headers, as well as painting moldings with gold paint. The afternoon house tour was memorable.
- Specialty tiger, lion, panther acts were performed on The Hollywood Palace stage, video taped and "banked" in the library of acts/performances for insertion into the regular series hosted…
[show]Specialty tiger, lion, panther acts were performed on The Hollywood Palace stage, video taped and "banked" in the library of acts/performances for insertion into the regular series hosted show. These live animal acts required a major stage set up because of the iron bar performance ring provided by the trainer's (circus performance presentation) act. The animals were released from their traveling cages at the exterior stage elephant door-ramp alley. The animals were directed through an iron bar tunnel leading to the stage performance ring. Usually, their performance was without an audience present. Occasionally a small audience was allowed to watch the taping. Striking and removing the stage performance jail-bar cage, tunnel, and equipment required additional man-hour labor. Special window (plastic) jail sections, (built by ABC Special Effects), were inserted between the jail-bar ring for camera port holes. Only once, was a lion, tiger and black panther act performed without this circus jail ring set up on stage. Four iron bar jail bar units were built to surround the video camera and the camera operators. The audience bodies were studio dummies, dressed by the costumer, and placed in the seats. The stage crew and participating show personnel were located in the theater's balcony to observe the performance. On one of the animal acts load in, through the iron bar tunnel, Ed Holland, the head stage carpenter, was squeezing by the tunnel next to the stage proscenium bulkhead frame, while the lions were being ushered into the stage ring. An old lion being pushed through the tunnel got his revenge, spraying Ed from head to toe! Ed's wife complained the lion perfume remained on him for weeks thereafter!
- Nick Vanoff fired the first Hollywood Palace "Billboard Girl" after the fifth show. She was a member of the Tom Hansen Dancers, appearing on the CBS Red Skelton Hour, which became a…
[show]Nick Vanoff fired the first Hollywood Palace "Billboard Girl" after the fifth show. She was a member of the Tom Hansen Dancers, appearing on the CBS Red Skelton Hour, which became a scheduling problem for the leggy curvaceous showgirl. After missing air-show rehearsals, and showing up late in the taping day, Vanoff replaced the performer, the following week, with Raquel Welch. Patrick Curtis accompanied Raquel when she was scheduled for rehearsal and show taping day. Patrick, always sitting in the last row aisle seat adjacent to the orchestra area, became a fixture, like a "Brinks Guard" guarding his property! These "Hollywood Palace Billboard" segments, at the end of the variety hour, introduced Raquel Welch. Raquel, soon noticed by agents and movie producers, was on the series for several years before quitting the assignment.