Quiz Show (1945-1950)
Break the Bank began as a summertime show during the war. With a different host each week, greenhorn-host Bert Parks, fresh faced and just back from the war, greatly impressed the producers and was made the permanent host when the show became a weekly Saturday morning program in 1945. After WWII, quiz shows were the hottest thing and the radio waves exploded with tough questions and hefty giveaways. Break the Bank was promoted as “the highest paying quiz program in the world,” according to a 1948 Radio Mirror.The show was created for intelligent people with elephant memories for both useful and useless facts. The show began with $1,000 in the “bank” and increased each week until someone hit the jackpot. The highest paid winner was Mrs. Powers, a young mother who became a contestant on the show because her three-year-old son ran onto the stage just before air time. Scurrying to retrieve him, she was offered a place with the contestants by the courteous Bert Parks. After eight correct answers, she walked out of the studio $9,020 richer. So grab some Cheetos and dust off your thinking cap, because it’s time to see if you can Break the Bank!
(Please note that some of the rare recordings in this collection may be of inferior sound quality.)