I thought I'd post a week of smart old time radio shows this week; one of my favorites is INFORMATION PLEASE, a refreshingly low-key quiz show where the contestants made the questions to stump the MC [Clifton Fadiman, NEW YORKER book editor and a giant of NY publishing] and his panel of experts [John Kieran, sports columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES; Franklin P. Adams, a poetry-loving NEW YORK POST columnist; Oscar Levant, a Broadway composer and bon-mot machine-gunner; and a celebrity guest who was reasonably smart, like Orson Welles or Deems Taylor]. If you could stump the panel, they would make a few pithy comments and send you a cash prize and a full set of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It's nearly impossible to imagine -- especially today, when the hottest game show on TV is basically LET'S MAKE A DEAL without the embarrassing costumes -- a time when a show this cerebral would hang consistently in the ratings Top 10 for years. Here is INFORMATION PLEASE for January 22, 1943, with guest Alfred Hitchcock. Enjoy.
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