variety show


: a theatrical entertainment of successive separate performances (as of songs, dances, skits, and acrobatic feats)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Last year, Hanks landed in the hot seat with comedian Ziwe on her eponymous late-night variety show. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2023 Her preferred method for delivering her message is the variety show: a little schtick, a little song, a little taboo talk. New York Times, 15 July 2022 His parents were also singers who hosted a musical variety show, according to the biography on his website. Diana Dasrath, NBC News, 15 Mar. 2023 After leaving the variety show, Duncan continued performing on stage and in films like Tap (1989), which starred Sammy Davis Jr. and the celebrated tap dancer Gregory Hines, who played a major role in the revitalization of tap in the later years of the 20th century. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Jan. 2023 Like a ringmaster letting a lion out of its cage to terrify and thrill the kids at the circus, Steve Allen unleashed the 21-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis to a prime-time TV audience on his July 28, 1957, Sunday variety show. Richard Corliss, Time, 28 Oct. 2022 Around 10 years ago, Horn was approached by the Opry Entertainment Group to write the book for a musical based on Hee Haw, the hokey variety show that ran from 1969 to 1991 and mixed country music with groan-worthy skits, often set in a cornfield. Melinda Newman, Billboard, 3 Apr. 2023 Coslough Johnson, the Emmy-winning writer who worked with his late older brother, Arte Johnson, on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and wrote for two variety shows toplined by Sonny and Cher, has died. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Apr. 2023 The comedian got his start in the late 1960s writing for the TV variety show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 22 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'variety show.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of variety show was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near variety show

Cite this Entry

“Variety show.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

variety show

: entertainment made up of separate performances (as dances and songs) that follow one another

More from Merriam-Webster on variety show

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