In Melbourne Tonight (IMT) on GTV9 was hosted by Graham Kennedy and is still regarded as the golden era of Australian television history.
In Melbourne Tonight ran from 6 May 1957 to 1970. The theme song used the tune of Gee, But You're Swell, written by Abel Baer and Thomas Tobias in 1936.
In 1956, just in time for the Melbourne Olympics, Australian television began on GTV9, destined to be the nation's most successful popular network. A year later, the long-running variety show, In Melbourne Tonight, also began and soon became immensely popular. So too did the host of the show, Graham Kennedy, who became that classic icon, a household word.
He was the king of comedy, the recognised successor to Australia's previous comic king and lord of misrule, Roy Rene. With In Melbourne Tonight Kennedy brought to and adapted for television Australia's rich history of very risqué music hall, vaudeville, and variety.
In Melbourne Tonight included musical acts, game segments, burlesques of ads, and sketches, including "The Wilsons." In this segment, perhaps reminiscent of The Honeymooners skit on early 1950s American television, Graham played a dirty old man, married to his Joyce, carnivalising marriage as comic disaster.
Geoff Corke was Kennedy's offsider until 1959 when Bert Newton joined GTV-9 from HSV-7 to become Kennedy's straight-man. This began a professional partnership that continued for many years and a friendship that continued until Kennedy's death in 2005.
Other IMT identities included Joff Ellen, Val Ruff, Panda Lisner, Mary Hardy, Rosie Sturgess, Patti McGrath (later Patti Newton), Toni Lamond, Philip Brady, Johnny Ladd, Noel Ferrier, Elaine McKenna, Bill McCormick, Ted Hamilton, The Tune Twisters and the Channel 9 Ballet.
Following Kennedy's departure from IMT, Toni Lamond (a regular guest of the show) took over as host of In Melbourne Tonight and became the first ever female television host of a variety show in the world.
In Melbourne Tonight | 29 December 1961
An incomplete episode of the long running Australian nightly variety show IMT, Starring Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton.
The copyright in Australian television broadcasts lasts for 50 years from date of broadcast. This video copy of a kinescope recording entered the public domain 1 January 2012.
This video is mastered from an extremely poor quality VHS dupe of the original kinescope. The video copy is multi-generational (tape swapping). The maximum amount of noise redusction, image stabalisation and enhancement has been applied to the upload. This is the maximum quality we could achieve from this tape.