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Quiz Kids

Quiz Kids

Quiz show in which a panel of five children from the ages of 6 to 15 would answer questions sent in by listeners.

The Quiz Kids, a popular radio show of the 1940s and 1950s premiered with six young children, Gerard Darrow, Mary Ann Anderson, Joan Bishop, Cynthia Cline, Van Dyke Tiers and Charles Schwartz. Darrow, first of the Quiz Kids, was six years old and an expert on the great outdoors. The Quiz Kids was the kids’ version of Information, Please – except for the fact that the four panelists on Information, Please were referred to as intellects, while the kids were called geniuses.

Louis G. Cowan, a Chicago advertising and public relations expert, created the show and presented the idea to NBC. Alka-Seltzer was the original sponsor, and the series was first presented in Chicago on June 28th, 1940. The Quiz Kids series was originally meant as a summer replacement for Alec Templeton Time, but persisted for the next 13 years in both radio and television.

Joe Kelly originally hosted The Quiz Kids. Eliza Hickok researched the questions for the correct answers then Kelly presented the questions to the kids. A panel of five clever youngsters, chosen for their remarkably high IQs, attempted to answer the questions from listeners. Other panelists joined Gerard Darrow in the 1940s, including future Nobel Prize-winning biologist, James D. Watson.

Darrow was so popular on the show that when he was dismissed from the panel after his ninth show, listeners wrote in to demand that he return. One of the most famous Quiz Kids was Joel Kupperman, a math genius who joined the kids on the panel at a mere five years old. He and Richard Williams were equally competent in math, but Kupperman had extra charisma because of his lisp and his struggle to give the correct answer.

Once on the show, a visiting panel of professors from the University of Chicago challenged the Quiz Kids. The kids crushed the professors with a score of 275 to 140. Obviously, the adults didn’t learn their lesson – it happened again to a panel of University of Michigan professors with a score of 420 to 390.

The kids on the panel were chosen for their IQs, but could not be bratty or obnoxious. They also needed to have a good microphone presence and personality and poise. The kids weren’t coached, but quizmaster host, Joe Kelly could study the questions and answers in advance of the show. The Quiz Kids often revealed Kelly’s lack of education (he quit school at age 8 to enter show business) by answering a question correctly, but different than the answer in front of him. The Quiz Kids panelists were often rotated during the 1940s and were ineligible to participate after their 16th birthdays.

Some other notable panelist on The Quiz Kids are Smylla Brind who went on to become an actress under the name of Vanessa Brown, Harve Fischmann who went on to become a producer under the name of Harvey Bennett, and dialect coach, Robert Easton. Other Quiz Kids worthy of mention include Margaret Merrick, Geraldine Hamburg, Joan Alizier, Mary Clare McHugh, Claude Brenner, war refugee, Gunther Hollander and Ruth Duskin who went on to to become a housewife and journalist and wrote a book published in 1982 entitled Whatever Happened To The Quiz Kids?

Sadly, Gerard Darrow one of the first quiz kids spent his last years in poor health and on welfare – he died at age 47.

Broadcast: 16th April 1941
Added: Jun 13 2009
Broadcast: 24th January 1943
Added: Jun 14 2009
Broadcast: 21st February 1943
Added: Jun 15 2009
Broadcast: 28th March 1943
Added: Jun 16 2009
Broadcast: 24th March 1946
Added: Jun 18 2009
Broadcast: 21st July 1946
Added: Jun 19 2009
Broadcast: 9th March 1947
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Jan 28 2010
Broadcast: 18th May 1947
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Feb 04 2010
Broadcast: 27th July 1947
Added: Mar 06 2010
Broadcast: 21st March 1948
Added: Jun 26 2010
Broadcast: March 28, 1948
Starring:
Added: Mar 31 2013
Broadcast: 11th April 1948
Added: Apr 11 2011
Broadcast: 18th April 1948
Added: Apr 18 2011
Broadcast: 25th April 1948
Added: Apr 25 2011
Broadcast: 2nd May 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: May 02 2011
Broadcast: May 9, 1948
Added: May 09 2010
Broadcast: 23rd May 1948
Added: Jun 05 2011
Broadcast: 30th May 1948
Added: Jun 12 2011
Broadcast: 6th June 1948
Added: Jun 19 2011
Broadcast: June 20, 1948
Added: Jun 21 2009
Broadcast: 27th June 1948
Added: Jun 26 2011
Broadcast: July 4, 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Feb 20 2011
Broadcast: 11th July 1948
Added: Nov 05 2011
Broadcast: 18th July 1948
Added: Jan 29 2012
Broadcast: 25th July 1948
Added: Feb 12 2012
Broadcast: 1st August 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Jul 01 2012
Broadcast: 8th August 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Jul 22 2012
Broadcast: August 15, 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Oct 13 2012
Broadcast: 29th August 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Nov 03 2012
Broadcast: 5th September 1948
Added: Oct 12 2013
Broadcast: 12th September 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Oct 20 2012
Broadcast: 26th September 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Oct 27 2012
Broadcast: 3rd October 1948
Added: Nov 19 2011
Broadcast: October 10, 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Feb 15 2010
Broadcast: 17th October 1948
Added: Oct 22 2011
Broadcast: 7th November 1948
Added: Nov 06 2011
Broadcast: November 21, 1948
Added: Nov 28 2013
Broadcast: 5th December 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Dec 11 2011
Broadcast: 12th December 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Dec 17 2011
Broadcast: 19th December 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Dec 19 2011
Broadcast: 26th December 1948
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Dec 26 2011
Broadcast: 20th March 1949
Added: Feb 11 2010
Broadcast: 27th March 1949
Added: Mar 20 2011
Broadcast: 3rd April 1949
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Mar 28 2011
Broadcast: 10th April 1949
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Apr 04 2011
Broadcast: 24th April 1949
Starring: Clifton Webb, Joe Kelly
Added: May 16 2011
Broadcast: 29th May 1949
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Nov 26 2011
Broadcast: 2nd April 1950
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: Mar 21 2011
Broadcast: 2nd July 1950
Added: Mar 11 2012
Broadcast: 6th August 1950
Added: May 06 2012
Broadcast: 13th August 1950
Added: Jan 26 2013
Broadcast: 20th August 1950
Added: Feb 02 2013
Broadcast: 31st August 1950
Added: Feb 09 2013
Broadcast: 3rd September 1950
Added: Feb 23 2013
Broadcast: 10th May 1950
Starring: Joe Kelly
Added: May 09 2011
Broadcast: 17th September 1950
Added: Mar 02 2013
Broadcast: 24th September 1950
Added: Mar 09 2013
Broadcast:
Starring:
Added: Apr 27 2013
Broadcast: 1st October 1950
Added: Nov 25 2012
Broadcast: 8th October 1950
Starring:
Added: Mar 23 2013
Broadcast: 15th October 1950
Starring:
Added: Apr 06 2013
Broadcast: 22nd October 1950
Starring:
Added: Apr 13 2013
Broadcast: 29th October 1950
Starring:
Added: May 04 2013
Broadcast: November 5, 1950
Starring:
Added: May 11 2013
Broadcast: 12th November 1950
Starring:
Added: May 25 2013
Broadcast: 19th November 1950
Added: Jun 22 2013
Broadcast: 26th November 1950
Added: Jul 13 2013
Broadcast: 3rd December 1950
Added: Dec 14 2013
Broadcast: 17th December 1950
Added: Dec 21 2013
Broadcast: January 21, 1951
Starring:
Added: May 18 2013
Broadcast: January 28, 1951
Added: Jun 02 2013
Broadcast: 25th February 1951
Starring:
Added: Jun 08 2013
Broadcast: 4th March 1951
Added: Jun 29 2013
Broadcast: 18th March 1951
Added: Jul 06 2013
Broadcast: May 13, 1951
Starring:
Added: May 11 2014
Broadcast: 20th May 1951
Starring: Fran Allison
Added: Nov 02 2013
Broadcast: 27th May 1951
Starring: Oliver Capel
Added: Nov 16 2013
Broadcast: 3rd June 1951
Added: Nov 10 2013
Broadcast: June 17, 1951
Starring: Joe Kelly, Fran Allison
Added: Jun 15 2014
Broadcast: 24th June 1951
Added: Oct 15 2013
Broadcast: 8th July 1951
Starring: Oliver Capel
Added: Oct 26 2013
Broadcast: 15th July 1951
Added: Oct 18 2013