The Black And White Minstrel Show was a hugely popular variety program that ran on British TV from 1958 to 1978. Yes, you read that correctly. This throwback to an era in which men performing in black face was perfectly respectable entertainment was a big hit in England right up to 1978. Good gawd almighty.
One hundred years after the “Nigger Minstrel” entertainment tradition had begun in London’s music-halls, the convention was revived on television in the form of The Black And White Minstrel Show. This variety series was first screened on BBC Television on 14 June 1958 and it was to stay on air for over the next two decades. The Black And White Minstrel Show evolved from the “Swannee River” type minstrel radio shows. The Black And White Minstrel Show harked back to a specific period and location—the Deep South where coy White women could be seen being wooed by docile, smiling black slaves. The black men were, in fact, White artists “Blacked-up.” The racist implications of the premise of the programme were yet to be widely acknowledged or publicly discussed. But it was this which largely led to the programme’s eventual demise. ” Museum Of Broadcast Communications
This clip is from the last episode of The Black And White Minstrel Show which aired in 1978.