The New Phil Silvers Show (1963) - News Poster

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Top Banana

Phil Silvers was a comedy icon in his day, and along with starring in his TV series The Phil Silvers Show (as Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko) and The New Phil Silvers Show, he had notable success on the stage in two Tony Award winning productions A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Top Banana. Even though Top Banana didn’t have Steven Sondheim as a writer like A Funny Thing, it easily wins out as the production most representative of Silvers’ own comedic stylings. Top Banana is an onslaught of one-liners broken up with the occasional musical numbers. For modern audiences, Top Banana’s comedy might be a bit stale but the energy it carries over from its theatrical roots helps to carry it along so quickly that its faults are easy to overlook. Though a few clever camera choices mask the simplistic sets by which the story takes place,
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