How Does a TV Channel Launch?

The current gamut of television channels seems to have reached the point where all genres and interests are now covered. Drama, comedy, animation, and reality all have bases on various channels. However, these channels had to come from somewhere, and it can be interesting to see where they came from and how they launched. Thanks to YouTube (this seems to be a trend in my articles), TV channel launches can be relived. I think they’re interesting, so I decided to talk about them. Continue reading “How Does a TV Channel Launch?”

A Gem of 1950’s Television

Earlier in the week, I was watching videos of some of the greatest speeches in history, because I am a nerd. However, after a video of Robert F. Kennedy’s announcement and subsequent speech regarding the assassination of MLK (which, if you’re interested in such a thing, is a must-watch speech), I stumbled upon something entirely different. In the list of suggested videos, I was enticed to click on a video titled “Last Witness to President Abraham Lincoln Assassination I’ve Got A Secret”. To my surprise, it was a clip from a 1950’s gameshow called I’ve Got A Secret.

I was immediately hooked. I found the premise of the show, as well as the retro 1950’s television style to be immensely entertaining. The basic premise of the show is that a contestant with some sort of secret or quirk is brought out by the host, and their secret is subsequently told to the host and the audience. Following this revelation, a panel of four people (whom, based on my research, are all relatively famous personalities from that era) ask the guest simple yes or no questions regarding their secret in an attempt to guess what it is. Each panelist is timed, and following the questioning period of each panelist, the contestant is rewarded with $20 until their secret is guessed, or until each panelist has had the opportunity to question them, resulting in a total potential winnings of $80.

The host and panel of I’ve Got A Secret are a huge part of what makes the show so entertaining. During its nearly 15 year lifespan, the show had a number of hosts and panelists. My personal favorite lineup consists of Garry Moore as host, with a panel of Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, and Faye Emerson. Their back and forth banter and witty personalities make for some of the show’s best content. It is worth mentioning that Betsy Palmer is also a fairly entertaining panelist. However, based on what I have seen, a lineup consisting of anyone else is inferior comparted to the one mentioned above. They make for the most entertaining episodes by a long shot.

 

panel.jpg
Cast: Host (standing) Garry Moore, Panel (seated from left to right) Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, Faye Emerson

 

 

There are many different aspects of I’ve Got A Secret that make it so entertaining. On the surface, it is a fun game show. The very nature of the guessing game makes it very fun to watch. But beyond that, the show is downright fascinating. It provides a glimpse into American culture from a time before many of us (or even our parents) were alive. Things were so much different in the 1950’s. I’ve Got a Secret is a prime example of both the good and bad of 1950’s culture and society. Much of the fun in the viewing of this show is comparing and contrasting the differences between then and now. For much of the show’s run, its primary sponsor was Winston Cigarettes. Not only is the show littered with Winston advertisements (something that would never fly today), but a carton of Winston cigarettes were given to each contestant in most of the clips I have found. This could absolutely never happen today. As a matter of fact, in one clip, which I was unfortunately unable to find again to put in this article, host Garry Moore gave a carton of Winstons to his guests, who were two small boys who couldn’t have been more than 12 years old. While he did tell them to be sure that they gave them to their dads, could you imagine if a television host today handed two small children cartons of cigarettes? It is small cultural differences like this that make the show so interesting. If you can look past the occasional comment that could be deemed as sexist or inappropriate by today’s standards, the show has great entertainment value.

 

I would highly recommend the show to anyone who thinks they might be interested in this glimpse of 50’s culture. There are literally dozens upon dozens of clips from the show available on YouTube. All you have to do is search “I’ve Got A Secret” and you will be provided with hours of quality content. Just make sure you have plenty of free time before you start watching. I have spent hours watching clips and full episodes of I’ve Got a Secret since I discovered it.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out some of the other articles from me and the rest of the Mid-American Culture staff!

My twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

Weekly Playlist: I’m Just Sayin’ You Could Do Better

 

 

I Miss Sylvia Plath

Good morning everyone, in sticking with my Saturday Poem sharing I present my favorite Sylvia Plath poem, The Colossus. The poem was released in 1960 as part of a collection called The Colossus and Other Poems. The collection stands as the only selections of poetry Sylvia published before her death at age 30 in 1963.

The poem is full of wonderful imagery that was a hallmark of her work, she had a way of telling you something in her poem but also leaving it to the reader’s own interpretation. My favorite line is ” I crawl like an ant in mourning”

Sylvia was prolific in her short 30 years on the planet, I’d invite you to grab a cup of coffee and pull it close and enjoy this poem and then search out more of her work, she also published a novel, The Bell Jar that has a place among the best American literature. Have a great day and keep reading.

The Colossus

I shall never get you put together entirely,
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.
Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles
Proceed from your great lips.
It’s worse than a barnyard.
Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,
Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.
Thirty years now I have labored
To dredge the silt from your throat.
I am none the wiser.
Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of lysol
I crawl like an ant in mourning
Over the weedy acres of your brow
To mend the immense skull plates and clear
The bald, white tumuli of your eyes.
A blue sky out of the Oresteia
Arches above us. O father, all by yourself
You are pithy and historical as the Roman Forum.
I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress.
Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are littered
In their old anarchy to the horizon-line.
It would take more than a lightning-stroke
To create such a ruin.
Nights, I squat in the cornucopia
Of your left ear, out of the wind,
Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.
The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue.
My hours are married to shadow.
No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel
On the blank stones of the landing.