There have been very few summer sensations on television, after all it's an ebb period of viewing with people otherwise busy having fun elsewhere. One series that ignited with the public during the hot months of 1971 was The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.
All you need to know about why the show was a hit is in the opening 10 minutes of the first episode (a bad copy here from You Tube but it has never been released on DVD).
With a sassy routine they developed in nightclubs, suddenly two forgotten 1960s pop stars were the biggest thing on television. When the variety hour returned in 1972 ratings rose higher, remaining in the top ten until Sonny & Cher divorced in 1974.
I've never seen outtakes from the Sonny & Cher shows so this is a rarity, often times mistakes would be kept in the final tape to give the feeling of spontaneity. Like this example that starts after the song at 2:10 - producers ended up using this seemingly unusable flub on the show.
During the run of the two Sonny & Cher TV series Sonny Bono was popping pills that tended to make him giddy and confused, it was part of his charm for me. Notice how Cher covered her mouth when she laughed - she was a very self-concious about her crooked teeth, she had them fixed before going into the movies. Cher was really a good sport while Sonny dissembles here, after all she was married to another man (Greg Allman) by that point.
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