Frisky ’50s TV Trivia Quiz – Xtine’s 20 Questions
Are You a Hep Cat? Then Flip Your Lid with This 1950s TV Trivia Quiz. It’s a Gas!
1. Beaver Cleaver got into trouble by snooping around in the school principal’s office in the 1959 episode of “Leave it to Beaver” titled “The Price of Fame.” Beaver’s disastrous scholastic search was prompted after his buddy, Larry, told him there was an “electric ____________ machine” hidden in the closet of Principal Rayburn’s office.1. Printing
2. Legend has it that a notorious 1950s TV host was on the set when a female guest stated that she had given birth to 11 children because she loved her husband so much. The host reacted by stating, “I love my cigar, but I take it out once in awhile.” Which host made this hilariously provocative statement?
a. W. C. Fields
b. Bill Clinton
c. George Burns
d. Groucho Marx
3. Which famous American actor hosted “General Electric Theater” for eight years?
a. John Wayne
b. Ronald Reagen
c. Jerry Lewis
d. Woody Allen
4. The uniquely oboe-esque instrumental theme of “The Alfred Hitchcock” show was entitled:
a. “The Typewriter” by Leroy Anderson
b. “Funeral March for a Marionette” by Charles Gounod
c. “Hitchcock’s Plot” by the London Symphony Orchestra
d. “North by Northwest” by Cary Grant
5. In “I Love Lucy’s” famous candy-covered conveyor belt episode, what is the name of the candy shop where Lucy and Ethel wound up working for a day?
a. Kramer’s Kandy Kitchen
b. Monk’s Mouth-Watering Milk Chocolates
c. New York Sugar Shack
d. Sense-A-tional Sweet Shoppe
6. “The Danny Thomas Show’s” popularity soared during the 1950s. Also known as “Make Room For Daddy,” in which fantasy-laden program did the show’s youngest star resurface in the 1960s?
b. I Dream of Jeannie
d. Lost In Space
7. Airing its first episode in 1959, “The Twilight Zone” was hosted by Rod “picture-if-you-will” Serling. Originally, CBS had wanted someone else to host this macabre series. Who was it?
a. Orson Welles
b. William Shatner
c. Jim Nabors
d. Ed McMahon
8. The intriguing theme from which 1958 TV series held the #1 position on Billboard’s chart for 10 weeks?
a. Hawaii 5-0
b. Leave it to Beaver
c. I Love Lucy
d. Peter Gunn
9. Launched in 1957, “The Real McCoys’ ” theme gives the impression it may have served as a precursor to “The Beverly Hillbillies’ ” show-opening tune. The McCoys’ lyrcs tell the tale of a family who moved to California from which state?
c. New Hampshire
d. West Virginia
10. Art Carney’s first “Honeymooners” appearance was as Ed Norton, the zany sewer city worker.
a – True
b – False
11. James Arness was not the first choice for the role of Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke.” In fact, the star who was initially offered the part ended up recommending Arness for the job.This infamous leading man was:
a. John Wayne
b. Gary Cooper
c. Chuck Norris
d. Burt Reynolds
12. In 1958 children were entertained by a blue-hued Southern canine whose favorite song was “Darling Clementine.” This feisty TV cartoon character was named:
a. El Kabong
b. Dudley Do-Right
c. Huckleberry Hound
13. If you were reintroduced to your kindergarten teacher, an old flame, and your first boss, you might be on what TV show that aired throughout the 1950s?
a. Jerry Springer
b. The $64,000 Question
c. This is Your Life
d. To Tell The Truth
14. “The Donna Reed Show” which debuted in 1958, featured Shelley Fabares as Donna Stone’s effervescent daughter. Which song, sung by Fabares, hit Billboard’s #1 slot four years later?
a. My Boyfriend’s Back
b. Johnny Angel
c. The Donna Reed Show Theme
d. It’s My Party (and I’ll cry if I want to)
15. Between 1951 and 1959, how many episodes of “Dragnet” were aired on TV?
16. What was the name of the popular TV program hosted by Milton Berle until 1956?
a. Texaco Star Theater
b. The Tonight Show
c. Late Night With Milton Berle
d. The Uncle Miltie Show
17. In 1952, shortly after television sets began turning on in American homes, which soap opera hit the airwaves after thrilling radio audiences since 1937?
a. All My Children
b. The Doctors
c. Guiding Light
d. Amos & Andy
18. “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” premiered on TV in 1952, starring the real-life Nelson family. After the two Nelson sons, Rick and David, were married off the set, their wives were written into the show.
19. Referring to Elvis Presley, who told TV Guide, “as for his gyrations, the whole thing can be controlled with camera shots?”
a. Cecil B. DeMille
b. Walter Cronkite
c. Ted Mack (of the “Original Amateur Hour”)
d. Ed Sullivan
20. The wildly successful “George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” aired from 1950 to 1958. In what year did Burns and Allen tie the knot?
Answers & Rating Guide
1. c – Spanking. Remember, this was “back in the day” before spanking became a politically incorrect concept, so the notion of a “spanking machine” wasn’t all that far-fetched to a mischievous youngster like The Beaver.
2. d – Groucho Marx on “You Bet Your Life.” It is further alleged that the audience reacted to Marx’ risque statement in a spirited fashion, and laughed heartily for several minutes. This hilarious audio was supposedly aired for years by NBC whenever the network needed an impressive reaction on one of its laugh tracks for other shows.
3. b – Ronald Reagan. Perhaps if more American Presidents spent two four-year terms hosting popular TV programs prior to getting elected to “The Office,” our country would avoid becoming “The Biggest Loser” and we could form a stronger sense of “Community.” As it stands now, some of our elected “American Idols” are too busy “Dancing With The Stars” to possess “The View” necessary to help with the issues we face in these “Days of Our Lives.”
4.b – “Funeral March for a Marionette” by Charles Gounod.
5. a – Kramer’s Kandy Kitchen (possble connection to Kosmo Kramer’s “big apple” ancestors?). This sweet-slapping episode was rumored to have been one of Lucille Ball’s favorite performances. Titled “Job Switching,” this enduring comedy classic first aired on September 15, 1952.
6. d – Lost in Space. Thomas’ youngest daughter on the show, Angela Cartwright, turned up on “Lost In Space,” a mid-1960s sci-fi classic. “The Danny Thomas Show” starred “That Girl’s” (Marlo Thomas) real-life dad, so it’s obvious that Marlo knew how to “Make Room for Daddy.”
7. a – Orson Welles. Welles wanted more moula than the network wanted to fork over to host this deliciously chilling series.
8. d – Peter Gunn. One of the first TV shows with its very own jazz theme, RCA released an album featuring this hot number. It was so sizzling that its composer, Henry Mancini, won a pair of Grammys for his rhythmic creation.
9. d – West Virginia. Starring Walter Brennan, “The Real McCoys” warmed the hearts of American TV viewers for six foot-stomping, knee-slapping seasons.
10. b – False. In 1952 when Carney debuted in “The Honeymooners” segment, he portrayed the role of a police officer who was struck with a barrel of flour. At that point, “The Honeymooners” was merely a sketch within “The Jackie Gleason Show.”
11. a – John Wayne. In “Gunsmoke’s” first episode, Wayne narrates the show’s opening. Another interesting bit of TV trivia is the fact that James Arness’ brother is Peter Graves, of “Mission: Impossible” fame. The Duke ultimately declined the “Gunsmoke” offer because he preferred to keep his likeness on the larger-than-life silver screen rather than the smaller-than-life TV screen.
12. c – Huckleberry Hound. A notable spinoff show of this dog-eared Hanna-Barbera trailblazer starred none other than Yogi Bear.
13. c – This is Your Life. This docu-reality program aired from 1952 to 1961. Its format was to surprise guests with personal narratives and introductions of people and situations they had encountered throughout their lives.
14. b – Johnny Angel. Fabares also performed the role of Christine Armstrong on the sitcom “Coach.”
15. b – 276. Interestingly, between 1949 and 1957, a total of 314 episodes of “Dragnet” aired on the radio.
16. a – Texaco Star Theater. Berle’s immense popularity earned him the title “Mr. Television.”
17. c – Guiding Light, which has been deemed the longest running drama in radio and television history by the “Guiness Book of World Records.” This syrupy soap opera entertained audiences from 1937 to 2009.
18. a – True. June Blair and Kristin Harmon both turned up in the weekly adventures of the Nelson family.
19. d – Ed Sullivan, regarding Elvis’ Sept. 9, 1956 performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
20. a – George Burns and Gracie Allen were married on January 27, 1926.
16-20 Fabulous ’50s expert – Bee bop a lu-lah, you’re tuned in and turned on to this family-oriented decade. Supermurgitroid!
11-15 First-class ’50s knowledge holder – Gee, you’re awfully swell to be so peachy keen about 1950s TV trivia. The cat’s meow.
7-10 Frisky ’50s hipster – You possess a dash of hep and a smidgeon of pizzazz when it comes to ’50s TV.
3-6 1950s Offbeatnik – At least you answered a handful of answers correctly, so you are definitely not a square when it comes to TV in this well-rounded, big-daddy-o decade.
0-2 Out to lunch – You need to be fed and to digest a large serving of 1950s reruns. Use caution not to blow your top.