NY Times, Variety

He Was a Hit on TV in 1949, and He Was Still Going Strong on ‘Shameless’ Just Last Year. Comedian Jack Carter Dies at 93

Jun 30, 2015  •  Post A Comment

“Jack Carter, a motor-mouthed comedian who became one of television’s first stars in the late 1940s and continued working, as both a comic and an actor, well into the 21st century, died on Sunday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.,” The New York Times reports.

The story continues, “He was 93. A family spokesman, Jeff Sanderson, said the cause was respiratory failure.”

The Times adds that in the late 1940s, “The infant medium of television soon beckoned. In 1949 Mr. Carter was the host of the ABC show ‘American Minstrels’ and then of ‘Cavalcade of Stars’ on the short-lived Dumont network. He had his own variety show on NBC, part of a Saturday-night package with Sid Caesar’s ‘Your Show of Shows.’”

Notes Variety, He often appeared in dramatic roles on television including ‘The Last Hurrah’ with Carroll O’Connor; ‘The Sex Symbol’ with Connie Stevens and Shelley Winters; and he received two Emmy nominations for the NBC series ‘Dr. Kildare,’ starring Richard Chamberlain, and an Emmy nomination for the ABC movie of the week ‘The Girl Who Couldn’t Lose.’”

More recently, Variety says, Carter appeared in ‘Family Guy,’ ‘New Girl,’ ‘Rules of Engagement,’ and, most recently in 2014, several appearances on ‘Shameless.’”

Variety also says that Carter’s “work as a director included Lucille Ball’s CBS series ‘Here’s Lucy’ and plays including ‘A Thousand Clowns,’ ‘Silver Anniversary’ and ‘Mouth-Trap.’”

To read more about Carter we suggest you click on one of the links, above, to the obituaries in The New York Times and Variety.

Here’s a YouTube clip of Carter and Judy Garland doing a bunch of impressions from Garland’s old TV show in the early 1960s:


  1. He was a star, but not a hit. Maybe on Dumont, but definitely not on NBC.

    • Hi Doug. Yes, Carter was indeed a hit as the host of “Cavalcade of Stars” on the Dumont network in 1949. Back then, Hooper was a media measurement service. Here are TV’s top 5 shows, based on Hooper’s very first survey of the popularity of national shows on TV:
      1) Texaco Star Theatre (Milton Berle)–NBC
      2) Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts–CBS
      3) The Goldbergs–CBS
      4) Toast of the Town (Ed Sullivan)–CBS
      5) Cavalcade of Stars (Jack Carter)–Dumont

      The most popular show on ABC at the time, according to the Hooper survey, was “Stop the Music,” which came in at No. 14.

      Chuck Ross

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