Thursday, June 5, 2014

What Might've Been: It Pays to be Ignorant (1951)

It Pays to be Ignorant made the transition from radio to television in 1951, airing on NBC. However, the transition wasn't a smooth one, as the series didn't last very long.

Series creator and host Tom Howard had started the show on radio seven years earlier as a satire on shows as diverse as Doctor IQ and Information Please. It lasted 9 seasons on radio, but, as noted the TV run was short. In fact, if you add a 1973 revival to the '51 series, it still doesn't add up to the radio run.

Gilmore Box provides this open:




Stefan Hatos & Monty Hall (Let's Make a Deal) revived Ignorant as a syndicated venture in 1973, as noted above. Actor Joe Flynn (ex-McHale's Navy), who had made a few movies for Disney while doing guest roles on other shows, was tapped as host. Charles Nelson Reilly moonlighted from his daytime gig on Match Game, paired with Jo Anne Worley (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) and British comic Billy Baxter. That's the version I remember, but there are no clips on YouTube. The format was the same as the original, and it was a hoot. As memory serves, Worley sang the closing theme. Unfortunately, it lasted just 1 year. Baxter was never heard from again, and Flynn drowned in a swimming pool accident.

Rating: B.

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