TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "Break the Bank" from ABC (Dec. 1955)

Posted by YouTube by user 'Shokus Video'
Length - 27:35

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

"Break the Bank" was a pretty simple game show, both from a gameplay perspective and from a production values perspective. Host Bert Parks and contestants simply stood on a mostly bare stage as Parks asked questions for progressively higher amounts of money ($25, then $50, then $100, $200, $300, and $500). At the top of the money ladder was a final question that if answered correctly would "break the bank" and win the contestants whatever amount the "bank" had built up to (starting at $1000 and rising with each set of contestants that didn't win it).

Contestants generally were couples or groups, as with the young family and then the older couple in the above episode. The family in the first part of the episode is successful in its attempt to "break the bank" (to the tune of $1300), whereas the older couple is not. In some respects, as with a lot of 1950s game shows ("You Bet Your Life" for sure, probably others), on "Break the Bank" it's the interaction between host and contestants that is just as important as whatever game is being played.

"Break the Bank" was sponsored by Dodge automobiles, so there are a couple of filmed Dodge ads in the mix in this episode, as well as the Dodge logo that is displayed prominently on the backdrop on stage.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1986 (WKBW/Buffalo, NY)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Travis Doucette'
Length - 4:51

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

Buffalo, New York station WKBW has made a sign-off appearance before on TFTP, and like in that previous appearance, this 1986 sign-off from WKBW features not just the American national anthem but also the Canadian anthem, "O Canada!" This is the result of Buffalo being a border city where its TV stations reached probably just about as many Canadian viewers as American ones. The "O Canada!" film here (a different one than in the previously featured WKBW sign-off) consists almost entirely of views of Niagara Falls, highlighting that natural wonder's dual role as both a Canadian and American landmark.

The sign-off sequence starts with the last few seconds of a WKBW newscast (this being sign-off time, probably a re-broadcast of the station's late newscast from that night), followed by a PSA with a priest encouraging undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship (following on 1986's amnesty legislation). The ownership/technical voiceover comes next, with part of it on the same slide of WKBW's transmitter tower seen in that earlier WKBW sign-off. The "O Canada!" film then plays, seguing directly into the "Star-Spangled Banner" film, which closes out the sign-off sequence.


TFTP Kids: "Bozo's Circus" from WGN/Chicago (1968)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Brian P. Collins'
Length - 56:10

Bozo the Clown is a legendary children's TV character that appeared in local kids' programs in various cities but nowhere as famously as in Chicago on WGN-TV. The Bozo character had been around since the late-1940s on children's record albums and by the late-'50s had begun to be franchised for television. WGN started to air "Bozo's Circus" in 1961 as a midday program aimed at kids who were home from school over the lunch hour.

The episode above is from 1968 and features Bozo (Bob Bell), Ringmaster Ned (Ned Clarke) who was the nominal host of the program, and Sandy the Clown (Don Sandburg). The cast engages in a number of shenanigans, including an attempt at plate-spinning by Bozo and a human-marionette act in which Bozo pulls the strings on Sandy. A Bozo cartoon is shown and two lucky kids (one boy and one girl) from the studio audience get to play the "Grand Prize Game".

This game was the centerpiece of the program into the 1980s, after WGN had begun to be carried on cable systems nationally and the program shifted to an early-morning timeslot (with a new name, "The Bozo Show"). In the "Grand Prize Game", kids attempted to toss ping-pong balls into a series of six buckets, with each successful toss resulting in a group of prizes, progressively more valuable as the game proceeded from bucket #1 to bucket #6. This 1968 episode (which includes original commercial breaks) ends with another signature segment of the Bozo show--the grand march that closes the program.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Three Commercials from 1954

Posted to Internet Archive by user 'HappySwordsman' (all three)
Length - 1:08 (top), 1:19 (middle), 1:18 (bottom)

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

Only two of these three commercials from 1954 feature a product spokesman on a set that looks like a well-appointed, wood-paneled study. The third is a classic product demonstration. Commercials of the 1950s, besides being longer and more leisurely than those we are familiar with today, also were drawn from definite genres, of which the stately product testimonial and the practical product demonstration are two.

The first ad, featuring "Super Circus" star Mary Hartline, is a demonstration of Dixie paper cups. The ad was clearly a live one in which a member of the program's cast pitches the product, and Hartline discusses the benefits of Dixie cups at a time when disposable paper cups were apparently still a novelty to many viewers. Ads number two and three, for Colgate toothpaste and Welch Family Wine, respectively, show the versatility of the wood-paneled-study genre of commercial; just about any product could be pitched within these confines and seem respectable. As a result, 1950s TV was lousy with them.


TFTP On This Day: "CBS Evening News" from CBS (Apr. 24, 1980)

Posted to YouTube by user 'NewsActive3'
Length - 29:28

It Was 38 Years Ago Today: This broadcast of the "CBS Evening News", from 38 years ago today on Thursday, April 24, 1980, was near the end of Walter Cronkite's nearly two-decade run as anchor. (At the end of the broadcast, Cronkite announces he'll be on vacation the following week, with his future replacement Dan Rather filling in.) The newscast is dominated by two stories: Rep. John Anderson's announcement from that day that he would run as an independent in the 1980 presidential campaign, after having failed to secure the Republican nomination; and ongoing developments in the Iran hostage crisis, which had begun the previous fall and would last until early-1981, thus dominating the news throughout 1980.

The Iran hostage crisis garnered several separate stories, including about new sanctions against Iran, about possible plans for military action in response to the crisis, about attempts by the parents of one of the hostages to negotiate with the Iranian government, and about reports from Iranian officials on their perspective on the crisis. Other significant stories in the broadcast include a summary of an address given by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and a report on Congressional investigation into the regulatory authority of federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission.

Original commercial breaks are included in this recording from Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS. Ads appear for Nevada National Bank, Lincoln Continental autos, Remington Micro Shave electric razor, Bulova watches, Uniroyal tires, Visa travelers checks, Sanka coffee (with spokesman Robert Young), Bayer aspirin, Safeco Insurance (with spokespanther the Pink Panther), General Tire, and Five Alive orange juice. Two IDs for KLAS also appear at the very beginning and very end of the broadcast.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "School House" from DuMont (Mar. 22, 1949)

Posted to Internet Archive by user 'zigoto'
Length - 26:05

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

Although little-known today (except among those well-versed in TV history), from the late-1940s through the mid-1950s there was a fourth national TV network, the DuMont network. DuMont Laboratories was an electronics firm founded and run by inventor Allen DuMont, and the DuMont network was an offshoot of his television set manufacturing business. Many of the programs DuMont aired were a little eclectic, even peculiar, compared to the other networks. "School House" is one of those programs.

Sort of a hybrid between a musical variety show and a sitcom, "School House" is set in a high school classroom where Kenny Delmar presides as the professor. Several students from his class--which includes later notables such as Wally Cox and Arnold Stang--sing, dance, juggle, and recite poetry in the episode above, the only known surviving episode, which aired on Mar. 22, 1949. (The series aired for only a few months between January and April of 1949.)

Part way through the episode, there is a very interesting ad for DuMont television sets, although it is entirely within the setting of the show's classroom. Wally Cox and another student have wandered over to a large console television that happens to be stationed at the side of the classroom, and Cox pontificates to Delmar and the class (and, of course, the viewers) about the qualities of the DuMont TV set.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1985 (KLPB/Lafayette, LA)

Posted to YouTube by user '20th Century Vision'
Length - 2:11

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

This 1985 sign-off from Lafayette, Louisiana, public TV station KLPB (LPB for Louisiana Public Broadcasting) is one of the very few that features on-screen lyrics to follow along with during the national anthem film; here, the lyrics scroll up the screen, rather than along the bottom, bouncing-ball style, like in this sign-off featured by TFTP earlier this year. The national anthem film is preceded by the ownership/technical voiceover that is on a still of the KLPB "24" logo.


TFTP Promos: Affiliate Station Promo from ABC (1971)

Posted to YouTube by user 'VintageTelevision'
Length - 2:04

This two-minute long promo film is not one that was used on-air by ABC affiliates but rather one that was part of a presentation to affiliates at their annual convention in 1971. As part of the network's presentation of its promotional campaign themes--"This is the Place to Be", which appears at the end here, was used as ABC's on-air promotional slogan for a while--films such as this served as mood-setters for the staffs of the dozens of network affiliates that convened to hear what the network had to say.

The music here is so seventies-mellow that it's almost ridiculous (at first listen, the first few moments sound like Nilsson's 1969 hit "Everybody's Talkin'"). The raster-like graphics of the multiple ABC logos have a definite seventies-mellow vibe as well. And the multi-colored silhouettes, presumably from scenes of ABC shows, are just bizarre.

The many images from ABC programs that make up the middle portion of the promo film include glimpses from then-current shows such as "The Brady Bunch" (with several images), "Marcus Welby, M.D.", "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", "The Odd Couple" (with separate images of Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), "The FBI", "Monday Night Football" (which had just premiered in the fall of 1970), "The Smith Family" (with Henry Fonda), "The Mod Squad", and "The Partridge Family".


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercial Block from WLS/Chicago (Jun. 25, 1971)

Posted to YouTube by user 'pannoni4'
Length - 7:37

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

This block of 1971 commercials from Chicago station and ABC affiliate WLS includes ads for the Kleenex Americana collection (a special set of tissue boxes commemorating America), Cheetos (an animated ad with a mouse painting a billboard), Pepsi, Bravo floor wax ("brightest shine under the sun"), Raid mosquito coil, Rival "Ranch Partner" dog food, Wishbone Italian Rose salad dressing, Northern paper towels, Bactine, Wonder Bread ("how big do you want to be?"), Pop-r-corns snacks, Jewel supermarkets (big meat sale!), and Diet 7-Up.

There are also two local WLS items: a promo for "Howard Miller's Chicago", a talk show hosted by the local radio personality, and a voiceover PSA ("art treasures of the world at the Chicago Art Institute") on a slide of the WLS/Chicago logo.


TFTP On This Day: "Winner Takes All" from CBS (Apr. 17, 1951)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Game Shows n' Stuff'
Length - 28:46

It Was 67 Years Ago Today: "Winner Takes All" is a landmark program in broadcasting history, especially for game show history--it was the first game show created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. In addition, it was the first show hosted by game-show icon (and Goodson-Todman mainstay) Bill Cullen. "Winner Takes All" began on radio in 1946 and on TV in 1948; the episode above, which is from the program's brief daytime stint in 1951, first aired 67 years ago today.

Barry Gray is the host of the above episode, and he's not exactly the most endearing game-show host ever. He's a bit dismissive of the contestants and seems more interested in cracking wise than in facilitating the gameplay. The gameplay is pretty simple and consists of the host asking the contestants questions (many of them based on brief little skits that are presented) to which the contestants try to "buzz in" on. One contestant had an actual buzzer, the other a bell--with respective symbols for buzzer and bell displayed in front of them. (TV game shows were young. Viewers needed some help.)

The radio and TV versions of "Winner Takes All" combined had about six years on the air, from 1946 until 1952. In these earliest years of TV history, networks tended to keep bringing back programs again and again, and networks more often picked up existing programs that had been dropped by other networks. Both happened with "Winner Takes All": CBS kept the game going in a few different formats (including as a segment on the daytime variety program "Matinee in New York") for several years before cancelling it for good in 1951, when it was picked up by NBC, where it ran for an additional year.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "The Bob Hope Chevy Show" from NBC (Oct. 21, 1956)

Posted to YouTube by user 'balsamwoods'
Length - 54:59

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

Here is one of the many Bob Hope specials that the legendary comedian did for decades on NBC, this one from fairly early in that stretch, on October 21, 1956. This one is pretty standard for Hope's output in the earlier years of his TV career--he comes out and does a monologue, then several comedy sketches with guest stars fill out the hour.

The first guest star, who comes out at the tail end of the monologue, is British actress Diana Dors (a pretty obscure figure now). Dors banters with Hope before the two of them mount a two-part sketch. In the first part, Dors plays a doting wife to Hope's lord of the manor in a portrayal of a British couple; part two reverses the roles in an American portrayal with Hope becoming the doting one to Dors' spoiled wife. Next up is New York Yankees star pitcher Don Larsen, fresh off of his perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He too banters with Hope before they engage in a less-ambitious playact in which Larsen "re-enacts" his historic pitching performance with Hope as a hapless batter.

The "Hollywood Deb-Stars", a group of debutantes, are announced by Hope alongside guest James Cagney, prior to Cagney singing a musical number. Lastly, Hope joins the foursome from "I Love Lucy" (Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley) in a final lengthy sketch that scrambles the male roles from that top-ranking sitcom.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1984 (WJXT/Jacksonville, FL)

Posted to YouTube by user 'MicroJow'
Length - 6:06

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

Jacksonville, Florida, station WJXT is the source of this week's sign-off, from September of 1984. The sign-off sequence begins with a few local spots, first a promo for local coverage of Southeast Conference (SEC) college basketball, then a PSA for the Jewish National Fund, and finally a bumper slide promo for "Wheel of Fortune". These are followed by a fairly weird little film with mostly instrumental music against an image of ocean waves lapping the shore, but also with some spoken word poetry or inspirational verse. The ownership/technical voiceover follows this, on a slide of the WJXT logo, with the national anthem film (including the rare second verse) closing out the sign-off.


TFTP Kids: "Time for Beany" from Paramount TV Network (c. 1954)

Posted to YouTube by user 'dentelTV1' (all three)
Length (total) - 29:39

"Time for Beany" was a pioneering kids TV program that aired in the early-1950s on the ad-hoc Paramount Network of stations. (Movie studio Paramount Pictures created this small network, that existed from 1948 until 1955, consisting mostly of a few stations it owned.) Animator Bob Clampett, who had worked on Looney Tunes cartoons for many years, created the Beany and Cecil puppet characters that are the stars of "Time for Beany".

Although the production values are not very sophisticated (a characteristic that "Time for Beany" shares with other early childrens' TV shows), the characters Beany, a young boy clad in a propeller beanie, and Cecil, a friendly dragon (that was basically a sock puppet), proved to be distinctive and popular. In this episode, they venture into the jungle to try and find a mysterious and elusive white gorilla. Along the way, they encounter some jungle natives that are pretty offensive stereotypes to us now (let's just say that the threat of being boiled alive in a large kettle is involved). Finally, they find the white gorilla (an actor in a white gorilla suit, of course), who roughs up Cecil a bit but nothing worse.

"Time for Beany" garnered considerable accolades in its time--it won one of the first Emmys for children's programming. Some of the voice actors for the show are notable, too, including Stan Freberg, later to become a cutting-edge comedian, and Daws Butler, later to become a legendary cartoon voice actor. Clampett went on to create a successor program, "Beany and Cecil", which featured the same characters using traditional cel animation. That program aired from 1959 to 1962 (partially under the "Matty's Funday Funnies" umbrella title), with repeat episodes airing right up until 1969, giving Beany and Cecil a solid two-decade run of entertaining children.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercial Block from ABC (Nov. 4, 1983)

Posted to YouTube by user 'MicroJow'
Length - 10:02

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

This block of commercials from November 4, 1983, comes from Tampa Bay-area ABC affiliate WTSP. It features ads for Arrid Extra Dry deodorant, Canon Snappy cameras, Biskits restaurants, Nutri Grain cereal, L'Oreal lipstick, Polaroid cameras (with longtime pitchman James Garner), Sears department stores, Wrigley's Spearmint gum, Burger King (with Emmanuel Lewis of "Webster" fame), and Gulf Oil car care centers. In addition, there are two different ads for AT&T, which was at the time trying to re-establish itself in the midst of antitrust action against it; one of these ads is for the re-branding of the Bell Telephone Phone Center into the AT&T Phone Center.

There are also several ABC program promos representing the cream of ABC's 1983 crop--for "Hardcastle and McCormick", "T.J. Hooker", "Love Boat" (a 2-hour "Oriental holiday" episode), "That's Incredible", "Monday Night Football", NCAA college football, "Trauma Center", "Nightline", the network TV premiere of the movie "Stir Crazy" with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, the special "Life's Most Embarrassing Moments, Part III", and an ABC News special on JFK that was presumably timed for the approaching 20th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination.

Interestingly, ABC was really getting a jump on promoting the 1984 Summer Olympics, as every promo here--a full nine months before the start of the games--features a line of text at the bottom that says "1984 - The Olympic Tradition Continues". A newsbreak from local WTSP news appears, too, along with a promo for the upcoming late local news from WTSP.


TFTP Late Night: "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" premiere episode (audio only) from NBC (Oct. 1, 1962)

Posted to YouTube by user 'TheNlsnn'
Length - 3:00

In the past few months, TFTP has featured a lot of items related to the early years of "The Tonight Show": the premiere episode of "The Tonight Show" with first host Steve Allenthe final episode of "The Tonight Show" with second host Jack Paar, and a Jerry Lewis-hosted episode of "The Tonight Show" from the interim between Paar and Johnny Carson. Today, we have an audio-only clip of the first few minutes of Carson's first episode from Oct. 1, 1962. (This is another case where only the audio survives, not the entire episode.)

There had been an interim of several months between the final Paar episode (in March of 1962) and this first Carson episode (due to Carson needing to complete his contract as host of the ABC game show "Who Do You Trust?")--an interim that Carson refers to in his comments in this clip. The person Carson is conversing with in the first part of the clip is comic Groucho Marx, who had come on first to introduce Carson in his first episode as host of "The Tonight Show". Carson, in addition to commenting on the publicity build-up resulting from the months-long interim, also summarizes in perfect Carson form his reaction to the pressure of the high-profile gig.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "Our Miss Brooks" from CBS (May 20, 1955)

Posted to YouTube by user 'balsamwoods'
Length - 22:04

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

Like many early TV shows, "Our Miss Brooks" started out as a radio program (in 1948) and then was adapted for TV (in 1952). The radio and TV versions ran simultaneously then until both left the air in 1957. Eve Arden starred in both versions as Madison High School English teacher Connie Brooks. Arden was surrounded by a supporting cast made up of staff members and students of Madison High, including Gale Gordon (later best known as Lucille Ball's foil in her 1960s sitcoms) as Principal Conklin and Robert Rockwell as biology teacher Philip Boynton.

The episode above, from May of 1955, shows the dynamic between stuffy Principal Conklin and well-meaning but flighty Miss Brooks. It also is a great example of that perennial sitcom trope--the misunderstanding. Conklin wishes for Madison High to have a new mascot for the school's football team (to show up a rival at another high school); through a misunderstanding stemming from having received only part of a note from Conklin, Brooks ends up getting him a different mascot than he had in mind.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1983 (WKRC/Cincinnati)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Chris O'Brien'
Length - 3:35

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

This 1983 sign-off from Cincinnati station WKRC (the city's ABC affiliate at the time) is a rare one that does not feature the national anthem but does feature an alternate song, which here is "This is My Country". For all practical purposes, this film of "This is My Country", with its nationalistic lyrics and images of mythical American locations, serves as a functional equivalent to the national anthem.

"This is My Country" closes out the sign-off. Preceding it is the ownership/technical voiceover, which includes slides of the seals of the NAB Code and labor union for radio and TV broadcast engineers.


TFTP On This Day: "Scrabble" from NBC (Apr. 5, 1993)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Digifangsn'
Length - 21:20

It Was 25 Years Ago Today: Scrabble the board game has been a family favorite for decades. "Scrabble" the TV game show, while not quite matching up to that record, did have a healthy, two-part run on NBC, first from 1984 to 1990, then for a brief time in 1993. The episode above, which aired 25 years ago today on April 5, 1993, is from the short second run of "Scrabble".

The host for both runs was game-show mainstay Chuck Woolery. Woolery brought his easygoing and amiable demeanor to a game that did not really have the easiest gameplay. "Scrabble" the game show has only a passing similarity to Scrabble the board game, and that similarity is mainly cosmetic. Contestants are shown words with one letter completed on a Scrabble-like board, words which they then have to guess based on other letters that they can choose from to fill in the word.

This gameplay--apart from being somewhat convoluted--is completely different from what one does when playing the board game Scrabble, which involves a player taking an assortment of letters and creating words from them. Nonetheless, contestant Jean, who cleans up on all of her opponents in this episode, seems to have gotten the hang of it.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercial Block from WTTG/Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2, 1971)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Michael Pannoni'
Length - 13:43

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

This 1971 block of commercials is from Washington, D.C., station WTTG, which was independent at the time, but had previously been one of the key affiliates in the DuMont network and later became one of the first affiliates of Fox. In '71, it was owned by the Metromedia group of stations, which is what the "MM" stands for in the ID slides seen in this block.

A wide variety of commercials appear in the block, including for Bronkaid mist, Procter-Silex blenders, Westinghouse "Super Bulb" light bulbs, Soft-Weve toilet paper, Bromo Seltzer, Close-Up toothpaste, All laundry detergent, the board game Score Four, Tiparillo cigars (featuring a pre-fame Fred Willard!), Anacin and Dristan medicines, and Chase & Sanborn and Maxwell House coffees (the latter featuring comedian Danny Thomas and his daughter).

Several WTTG bumper slides and promos are also featured, including a few appearances of the same WTTG news bumper, an election day news promo for local WTTG news, and multiple instances of a bumper slide for the David Frost show (probably because it was that program that the commercial breaks were taken from).


TFTP Comedy: "The George Burns Special" from CBS (1976)

Posted to YouTube by user 'balsamwoods'
Length - 50:35

George Burns was 80 years old at the time of this CBS special in 1976. He'd been in show business for decades, including in the pioneering TV sitcom he starred in with his wife Gracie Allen in the 1950s and which was featured on TFTP back in January. This special (his first since 1959, as he notes in his opening monologue) came as he was making a bit of a comeback due to his Oscar-winning performance in the film "The Sunshine Boys" in 1975--and as he settled into the final phase of his career, which was mainly a schtick on his increasingly advancing age.

Much of the special consists of Burns standing and puffing on his cigar while offering quips (many of them about his increasingly advancing age) and short renditions of old-timey musical numbers in his syncopated spoke-sung style. These are punctuated by all the other segments of the special: his introduction of the Osmond Brothers, who lip-sync a song; his playing straight man to Madeline Kahn, who takes the ditzy female role that Gracie Allen had played; his banter with Walter Matthau (again with Burns playing straight man); his interplay with Johnny Carson, who comically attempts to provide Burns with an opening act for his special; and his introduction of Chita Rivera, who sings "All That Jazz" from her hit Broadway show "Chicago".


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "Rate Your Mate" from CBS (1951)

Posted to YouTube by user 'videoarchives1000'
Length - 26:31 (total)

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

Every single year of television history there have been pilot episodes made for programs that were never picked up by the network. The game show genre has had more of these pilots than most types. Here we have one of these game show pilots that was never picked up as a regular series.

"Rate Your Mate" was an early game show pilot by Goodson-Todman Productions, based on a radio version of the same concept, that was made for CBS in 1951. Goodson-Todman had been producing TV game shows for a few years by '51, with its early flagship program, "What's My Line?", having premiered the previous year. "Rate Your Mate" has some characteristics that are similar to other early-1950s game shows (Goodson-Todman or otherwise), including a format that features a married couple as contestants, relatively simple gameplay, extremely small stakes for winning (maximum $100 here), and fairly crude production values.

In "Rate Your Mate", hosted by comedian Joey Adams, one spouse goes into a soundproof booth while the other spouse guesses whether or not they will correctly answer questions that are posed to them. Some of the questions are straight factual questions but other ones involve models either wearing or displaying objects which must be correctly identified. Three different couples appear in this pilot, each with varying success.