Quiz Show (1946 - 1954)
"Animal, vegetable or mineral? The simple game of 20 questions became a surprisingly popular old time radio show, running for almost 10 years. In its first summer, between 10,000 and 20,000 letters came rumbling into the show weekly! The show was put on by the Van Deventer family from New Jersey – Nancy (16), Bobby (14), Florence the mother and Fred the father and newsman. Each member played a panelist in the game along with the producer, Herb Polesie. Although it was, the Van Deventers didn't want it to seem like a family show, so Mrs. Van Deventer took her maiden name and Bobby took his maternal grandmother's last name.
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To make the show more exciting, bickering was encouraged by the makers of the show. This didn't fly with the audience, however, especially when Bobby sassed it up with his elders. It was quickly written back out of the script. The 20 question game, however, was played by the seat of the Van Deventers' pants and completely unscripted. The producer, Herb, offered comic relief with his questions such as "Can I give it to my mother-in-law? or "Can I do it to my wife? The audience is filled in on the answer ahead of time by the "mystery voice of Jack Irish, Frank Waldecker, and Bruce Elliott throughout the years. Surprisingly entertaining and hilarious, 20 questions is a fun timeless show for all age quizzsters!
For more quiz show fun, see also: The Game Show Collection, Twenty Questions, You Bet Your Life, It
Pays to Be Ignorant, Quiz Kids, and Information