Stephen Vincent Benet
Broadcast: September 19, 1941
Added: Sep 07 2017
A new type of question and answer game in which the public quiz the professionals. The public are invited to send in questions with their answers and if they are used on the show the sender gets $2. Further more if the professionals get them wrong the sender gets a further $5.
The show was created and run by Dan Golenpaul whose idea was to reverse the typical type of quiz show by allowing an intelligent, educate public ask the questions and put the alleged authorities on the spot. He certainly got the mix right by employing Clifton Fadiman as moderator of a panel of four experts, which would always include 2 or 3 regulars and guest personalities. Fadiman himself came from a background in books being a book critic for the New Yorker.
Other regulars included Science writer Bernard Jaffe, professor of philosophy Dr Harry Overstreet, Marcus Duffield of the New York Herald-Tribune and later John Kieran a sport's columnist for the New York Times and Oscar Levant a pianist and composer. What all of these had in common was their broad interests and knowledge and quick and slicing wit.
The intellectual questions were a catalyst for talk and the hilarious humor that emerged. "An uproarious error or a brilliant bit of irreverence was rated far above any dull deliverance of the truth," wrote John Kieran, one of the four major personalities. Go ahead and sample any of these shows and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.