Constantly I read on YouTube that talent is dead. But I don’t think that the talent is gone.
What I think is that the venue for such talent is gone. It died with the Carol Burnett Show (and the first version of the Muppet Show)- the last vestiges of variety. Carol Burnett has said many a time that gathering that kind of talent is too expensive.
Also today’s public’s expectations of performers are too low. Pre the 70s, everyone was expected to sing, dance, act (stage & screen), do comedy and perhaps play an instrument. Even the “dumb blondes” (to use the stereotype) were expected to do these things.
Now we have “reality” shows where producers leave the true professionals off the bill. Meanwhile, we are forced to wait for the Tony Awards or the Oliviers before we get to see talent in action – in Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman and now James Corden. And sometimes performers (Janelle Monae, Hugh Laurie, John Barrowman and Lady Gaga come to mind) get fed up of waiting and do other projects so we can see what they are capable of. Daniel Radcliffe managed to surprise us all (the singing was not his strength but oh, the dancing!)
Which brings us back to the 50s, 60s and 70s. To Carol, Cher, Shirley M., Goldie, Barbra,and Liza, to the Muppets, and to the Rat Pack, seen here with Johnny Carson, Late Night’s great. I have not given up.
But if we really want to see Talent we have to get off of Youtube and start paying for it.