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In 1950, one of the world's great comedians starred in a TV series, The Buster Keaton Show. The show was live so reruns were not possible. Last I heard, a mediocre kinescope of one episode was all that had survived.

Keaton knew at the time that his live show had limited commercial possibilities so the following year, he did another series — this time, on film. The show seems to have been marketed with two sets of opening titles, one set calling it The Buster Keaton Show; the other named Life With Buster Keaton. I've heard that only thirteen were made but I don't guarantee that number.

It was on that filmed show that I first discovered one of my favorite performers. As I would later learn, many of the gags and situations in them were ones that Buster had done in earlier films…and done better. The main writer was Clyde Bruckman, who'd written for Keaton and most of the other major comedians back in the twenties. In later years, Bruckman took to "borrowing" routines from films he'd written earlier…and a few he hadn't. So he'd be hired to write something and then its producer would be sued (usually by Harold Lloyd) and Bruckman would be fired. Keaton hired him to steal from earlier Buster Keaton films.

Nevertheless, I loved these shows. I saw them when KNXT Channel 2 ran one every Saturday morning around 8 AM. This would have been around 1960, give or take a year. One of the reasons I'm not sure how many episodes there were is that they seemed to run this one every other week. It's far from Keaton at his best but if you'd never seen him anywhere else, you might think it was pretty good…