MILTON BERLE - CONTRACT SIGNED 01/12/1950 CO-SIGNED BY: LOUIS G. COWAN - HFSID 299311
Sale Price $324.00
MILTON BERLE and LOUIS G. COWAN
In exchange for appearing on The Quiz Kids, produced by Cowan, "Uncle Miltie" secures an appearance of the Quiz Kids on his own show, The Texaco Star Theatre. Cowan later created the hugely successful The $64,000 Question, and was tarred (unfairly) in the quiz show scandal.
Document signed: "Milton Berle", "Louis G. Cowan", 1 page, 8¼x10¼. New York, N.Y., 1950 January 12. Berle agrees to appear on NBC-TV's The Quiz Kids on January 27, 1950. In exchange the four Quiz Kids panelists will appear on Berle's own variety show, The Texaco Star Theatre, on January 24. Each program and its sponsors will be mentioned on the other live show. Neither Berle nor any of the Quiz Kids will receive additional compensation for these appearances, With the encouragement of the quintessential stage-mother, MILTON BERLE (1908-2002, born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan, New York) played small supporting roles in silents, including the part of a newsboy in the first-ever feature-length comedy, Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914), starring Charlie Chaplin. Berle then moved into vaudeville and became a headliner, with occasional stopovers on Broadway and in Hollywood, into the WWII years. His lengthy starring role in the 1943 edition of Broadway's Ziegfeld Follies established him as a star. After only moderate success on radio and in films, Berle made a spectacular television debut as star of NBC's Texaco Star Theatre in 1948, dominating the airwaves on Tuesday nights until 1956. He became known as "Mr. Television" and was everyone's "Uncle Miltie". LOUIS G. COWAN (1910-1976) produced a series of hit radio quiz shows in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including The Quiz Kids, Stop the Music and Down You Go, and brought the most successful of these, including The Quiz Kids to television. Then Cowan had an even bigger success with The $64,000 Question (1955-1958) and a spin-off, The $64,000 Challenge, which pitted winners from the earlier show against each other. The $64,000 Question knocked I Love Lucy out of the #1 spot in the TV ratings, and President Eisenhower was said to resist interruptions while it was showing. In 1958, rival programs, including Twenty-One were enveloped in scandal, shown to have supplied contestants with answers in advance. The $64.000 Question had not cheated in this way, but all the prime-time quiz shows were soon off the air, and Cowan - never implicated in the scandal - lost his job at CBS. Cowan and his wife were killed in a house fire 7 years later. Slightly creased. Normal mailing folds. Minor tear at bottom edge. Otherwise, fine condition.
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