Saturday, January 12, 2019

So, How Did I Do?


On this blog (and elsewhere, too, when I get the chance), I'm constantly bragging about showcasing my knowledge about comic books and their history, knowledge which I've amassed over the last fifty-plus years of reading, collecting, writing, and selling the blasted things. But comics are not my only interest, y'know. No, really, they're not! I like to think I know more than a little about pop culture in general, too, mainly that of the 20th century, as well as a good chunk of the 19th. (Just don't ask me too much about modern stuff. In a strange combination of aging and apathy, I started losing touch somewhat with music, celebrities, and various related aspects of what we used to call “show business” back in the good old days – and please notice I did not say “back in the day.” – somewhere around the time Kurt Cobain committed suicide. However, I hasten to add that my “losing touch somewhat” was certainly not because he did so. Just a touchstone, as it were.

Okay, okay, okay, end of digression, I promise!

I gave myself a little challenge on the afternoon of Friday, December 28th. As I perused an old (1953) TV magazine (shown above), which featured Arthur Godfrey – Remember him? – on its cover, I found the following quiz:


To make a long story short, being the arrogant li'l bastard that I am, I decided to take the test, published three years before I was even born, just to see how well I'd do!

I should take this opportunity to point out that I took the quiz without accessing the internet or any of my other magazines or books. That would have been cheating. I was testing my own knowledge. In fact, this entire post is comprised of information from what I already know... or think I do... so if you spot any goofs, please tell me. Contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, I'm not perfect. Ha.


Question #1 was absurdly easy. Ozzie Nelson had been a band leader and singer in the 1930s and Harriet Hilliard, whom he eventually married, was a featured singer in his orchestra. Their television program, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, also co-starred their sons David and Ricky. Ricky Nelson went on to be a teenage singing idol!

#2. Another easy one. Televised episodes depicting scenes from history were broadcast by CBS-TV under the title You Are There.

#3? The Philip Morris tobacco company sponsored I Love Lucy for most, if not all, of its 1950s run. I've seen plenty of vintage commercials where Lucy and/or her husband, Desi Arnaz, touted the great taste of their product. Of course this was long before the government outlawed televised advertising of cigarettes and cigars in the early 1970s.

#4 was the first question to give me trouble. The wording of the question told me that the show wasn't one that starred a famous singer, like Frank Sinatra or Dinah Shore. I took a guess and answered Your Hit Parade, although I was 99% sure I was wrong. I was certain that the stars of Your Hit Parade actually did sing. In fact, IIRC, the format of that show was that each week, they'd act out the nation's Top Ten pop tunes, and sing the songs themselves. Oh, well.

I'm not familiar with The Big Payoff, admittedly. For #5 I almost guessed Lee Meriwether, a former Miss America who went on to fame as an actress. But then I realized that Lee Meriwether was Miss America 1955, and the quiz was dated 1953! I thought a bit and decided on Bess Myerson... although I honestly can't tell you what year she wore the crown, and I won't cheat and look it up.

#6 was another easy one. I knew Ray Bloch was an orchestra leader, best known for working on Ed Sullivan's and Jackie Gleason's shows for decades. Goodson-Todman was the team of producers responsible for game shows such as Match Game and over fifty others. The name Sidney Lumet threw me for a brief moment. I know him as a film director – 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, The Verdict, and others – but I don't really know anything about his television background. So I just assumed he was a director for TV shows as well before he went into motion pictures, and went with “director.”

My brow furrowed when I got to #7. (Okay, not really, but I've always wanted to use the word “furrowed” in a sentence, haven't you?) B was simple; Joe Friday was the main character of the long-running cop show Dragnet. But A, Mike Barnett? Never heard of him. And for C, I guessed Lloyd Nolan, but I was almost certain I was wrong.

And #8? Ha. Another cinch. I have never seen an episode of I Married Joan, but nevertheless, I knew that the husband was played by none other than Jim Backus, probably best known as Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island. But if I hadn't known the answer, the “Mr. Magoo” clue would have tipped it off.

And now, the answers:


As I said above, not one of the first three was a problem for me.

The Paul Dixon Show, #4, was one I'd never heard of.

#5 was Bess Myerson. Yeah!

As for #6, the three-parter? I got 'em all. So glad I went with my gut and assumed Sidney Lumet was a TV director as well as a movie director later on.

I only expected to get one of the three questions contained in #7. I'm pretty familiar with actor Ralph Bellamy, but I still never heard of Mike Barnett. I was wrong about Lloyd Nolan, but I kinda expected to be. But like I said, Dragnet's Joe Friday was a sure bet.

The Jim Backus question was probably the simplest one in the bunch. And by the way, if you ever meet me in person (and get me really drunk), I'll gladly sing the entire theme song from I Married Joan... although, as stated above, I've never seen the program!

Unfortunately, the magazine didn't give you any way to score yourself, especially since #6 and #7 were three-parters. But how do you think I did?

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ COMING SOON! (Watch for it!) A Re-Posting of One of the Best (and Longest) Stories I Ever Posted on This Blog!

23 comments:

  1. That was the most fun of all the tests I've failed. I scored a zero. One answer surprises me: Philip Morris. I had no idea.

    Hey, Silver, thank you so much for the free ad of my book. I very much appreciate it.
    Be well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Free? Free? I was hoping for $50 a month!

      Seriously, I was hoping you'd spot that.

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    2. I'm sorry if it took me a while. But when I visited here last, I got very excited to see it. =) My check's in the mail. Note: I didn't specify which check and to whom it's addressed, but I assure you that it's been mailed.

      Delete
    3. Well, that's a start. As long as you didn't mail it to the Trump Foundation. I heard that it, like our government, has been shut down.

      Delete
  2. One, two, and eight were easy. I remembered Phillip Morris when I saw it. Never heard of Paul Dixon. Didn't think of Bess Myerson, but I should have. I knew producers and director on six and only knew Jack Webb on seven. So you outperformed me, you thoroughbred. I say you did quite well.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been doing some research on Paul Dixon and may do a post about him sometime soon!

      Gee, it's been a while since anyone told me I outperformed her...

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  3. Well you sure scored way higher than my zippo. Couldn't answer a single one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, this stuff was before your time, after all.

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  4. I have to admit I flunked. I did, however, think #3 was a cigarette sponsor.

    I have used "furrowed" in a sentence before. It was a Truedessa and Captain Pat adventure. haha that was fun stuff to write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS - I think you did very well.

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    2. I just realized that phrasing my title as a question might make my commenters feel obligated to praise me for my results. Oops. That wasn't really my intent.

      (And someone needs to tell me why "commenter(s)" always gets flagged by spell-checkers.)

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    3. I found it interesting that you were so knowledgeable about this era.

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    4. Well, if I do say so myself, I know all sorts of stuff about music, television, movies, and of course, comics, during most of the 20th century. And not just the stuff I experienced when I was growing up.

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    5. You would be a great person to play Trivia with, I’ll buy the drinks and you can win the prizes.

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    6. Of course, you can keep the said prizes.

      Delete
    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. During the 1980s, I played Trivial Pursuit a few times. Not to brag -- okay, maybe a little -- but I always won. The other players would keep the game going as long as they could by sticking me with sports questions, but I still beat 'em.

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    9. Well, sports bars usually have a night of Trivia and sometimes you can win some nice prizes.

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    10. Yeash, but sports is my worst subject. Ha.

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    11. Silver, they have more than sports trivia, I think you would do well with the music and movie category.

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    12. Yeah, I used to win a lot of free drinks during the '70s and '80s, when deejays in bars asked trivia questions. I just dislike the idea of a so-called "sports pub," mainly because I hate most sports. If I ever hit the lottery, I'm going to open a "non-spots pub." "No TV, No Pool Table, No Sports Pools, No Dart Board, No NOTHIN'!"

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  5. At the tender age of 53 (54 next month), I am old enough to remember cigarette ads on TV, and the days when every sitcom featured the businessman husband who came home to a wife who handed him a cigarette and filled his crystal tumbler with whiskey from a decanter. It's so funny to me to watch some of that old stuff now, because I always wonder how hard it was to breathe on the set while they filmed.

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    Replies
    1. I saw an old episode of I've Got a Secret from the 1950s. Desi Arnaz was the guest, and he and host Gary Moore filled the place with smoke from the Winston cigarettes both were smoking during the show. Winston was the show's sponsor. Desi smoked them even though Philip Morris was his own sponsor.

      Delete

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