Mr. 100 Percent's WU doesn't show the half of it. "The Continental" was a popular late-night TV show during the early 1950's on CBS starring Renzo Cesana, a playwright and actor born in Italy and educated in the Jesuit Academy in Rome, who also worked on developing Art Linkletter's House Party, among other shows of the period.
The format of the show was simple. Like Hugh Hefner's Playboy shows in the 1960's, The Continental would "meet" you at the door, take your coat, present you with a rose, sit you down to a sumptuous dinner, and proceed to have a date with you...all in monologue.
He was always polite, and almost never ate or drank on-camera...what you were having, though was meticulously described and served. Courses switched during commercials, and "conversation" turned often towards art, literature, other light, but sophisticated subjects and the doings of his estate in Tuscany.
Men hated him. Women doted on him. Although the show ran less than a year, it became a nine-day-wonder — it was literally a tutorial on how to charm women. In just two years, it had been parodied by everyone from Red Skelton to Popeye, and even Mad Magazine and Jerry Lewis had their crack at him, somewhat later.
The following year, it was revived, with The Continental greeting pairs of newlyweds...again on summer-replacement status. It disappeared as quickly as it came, leaving only its ghosts behind.