The Continental (TV)

The Continental (TV)

"The Continental" was a 1952 CBS television series that starred Renzo Cesana in the title role. The 15-minute program was shown on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:15 p.m. ET, at the end of the night's prime time schedule.

The series used a subjective camera and a point of view shot, as Cesana spoke directly to women in the viewing audience in a suave manner, with each episode a different romantic rendezvous, accompanied by lounge music played on an electric organ. Occasionally, he would recite the lyrics to a song.

The program debuted on January 22, 1952, and pitched its last woo on April 17, 1952.

References in Pop Culture

*Despite the fact that the show was short-lived, "The Continental" has been mocked and referenced in many other forms of media in the years following its cancellation:
**Issue #14 of "MAD" magazine has a parody called "The Countynental".
**The 1954 Pepe Le Pew cartoon "The Cat's Bah" has a beginning that is similar to how "The Continental" is shown (with a female interviewer who is never shown but whose presence is implied).
**Comedian Red Skelton has performed a parody of "The Continental" called "The Transcontinental"
**Comedian Jerry Lewis performed a parody of "The Continental" while also doing an impersonation of Marlon Brando on a Colgate Comedy Hour.
**The 1956 Popeye cartoon "Parlez Vous Woo" has Bluto pretending to be "The International", the suave television personality (in the manner of "The Continental") whom Olive Oyl prefers to stay home to watch rather than go out on a date with Popeye.
**Probably the most famous reference to this short lived show can be seen in the recurring "Saturday Night Live" sketch, also called The Continental, with actor/frequent host Christopher Walken as the title character.
**An indirect cross-cultural takeoff on "The Continental" is the recurring column at "The Onion" by "Smoove B," though this could also be taken as a spoof of Barry White, Al Green and any number of smooth-soul, baby-let's-stay-together artists of the 1970s.

Rhino Records

Recordings by Renzo Cesana appear as unnamed tracks at the end of several CDs in the Capitol Records Ultra-Lounge series, always unmentioned in the liner notes. Among them are "Violets For Your Furs" and "Walk The Lonesome Night."

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