from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An entertainment consisting of dances, songs, negro-minstrelsy, gymnastics, or specialties of any kind, sometimes including farces or short sketches written to exhibit the accomplishments of the company.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Lopukhov had danced on the vaudeville circuit with his sister later the wife of British economist John Maynard Keynes, by the by, and "The Bright Stream" is full of variety-show cheese: A tractor driver dresses up as a dog and careens around the stage on a bicycle.

    A 'Bright Stream' to channel fun

  • In the fourth season of "30 Rock," the fictitious variety-show host Tracy Jordan, played with verve by comedian Tracy Morgan , has an emotional epiphany after shooting "Garfield 3," in which he starred as a motion-capture cat.

    Comedian Gets Serious, Collapses

  • The Two Skirts & a Shirt show opens with a self-titled original semi-comic blues; it's a trifle misleading, more like a 1960s TV variety-show opening.

    A Wondrous Week of Tunes

  • Maybe NBC should sign Timberlake and Gaga to costar in an old-time variety-show together — they could be the Sonny and Cher of the 21st century.

    Cheers & Jeers: SNL — Gaga for a Lady

  • Conference of Mayors and 90-some members of the Kennedy family; when your emcees include Terrence McNally, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols; and when your performers include Yo-Yo Ma, Herbie Hancock and Paul Simon, the actual art tends to get pushed aside, served up in snippets the size of variety-show acts.

    A grand display

  • He had hit albums - live recordings of his comedy songs - but didn't do the variety-show circuit on TV, or have any of his own primetime specials.

    Tom Lehrer: '60s Satirist Still Strikes A Chord

  • Dancers donning cover-ups and vintage-style, square-bottom bathing suits paired with bandeau tops performed in a variety-show that was just a little dirty and fabulously cheeky.

    Michael Cohen: Inside The Wackiest Swim Show (VIDEO)

  • And Conan's "Tonight Show" faces Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," which has won the variety-show derby the past seven years running.

    This year's Emmy nominations mark radical shift

  • Having chosen the finalists and formed them into an alarmingly amateurish version of an old variety-show backup troupe, the two stars now have to split them into competing teams — which means we still don't know what the Dance is going to look like when it actually gets into gear.

    Critic's Corner Monday

  • The Mermaid Frolics (1977) is more an enjoyable curiosity for Python completists, shot on video for television -- think sort of the British variety-show equivalent of Donny & Marie (only funnier) or The Star Wars Holiday Special (only with far, far fewer Stormtroopers -- unless you count Cleese by the end of the famous "Bookshop" sketch, hilariously delivered with his then-wife Connie Booth).

    Gregory Weinkauf: Smile and Say "Cleese!" - How the Secret Policeman Mocks, Rocks and Shocks


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