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Variety show, also known as variety arts or variety entertainment, is entertainment made up of a variety of acts including musical performances, sketch comedy, magic, acrobatics, juggling, and ventriloquism. It is normally introduced by a compère (master of ceremonies) or host. The variety format made its way from the Victorian era stage in Britain and America to radio and then television. Variety shows were a staple of English language television from the late 1940s into the 1980s.
While still widespread in some parts of the world, such as in the United Kingdom with the Royal Variety Performance, and South Korea with Running Man, the proliferation of multichannel television and evolving viewer tastes have affected the popularity of variety shows in the United States. Despite this, their influence has still had a major effect on late night television whose late-night talk shows and NBC's variety series Saturday Night Live (which originally premiered in 1975) have remained popular fixtures of American television.