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INFORMATION PLEASE

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Old Time Radio - DVD - 226 mp3 - Total Playtime: 104:56:00

Information Please was an American radio quiz show, created by Dan Golenpaul, which aired on NBC from May 17, 1938 to April 22, 1951. The title phrase was contemporarily used to request information such as directory assistance and time of day from telephone operators.
The series was moderated by Clifton Fadiman. A panel of experts would attempt to answer questions submitted by listeners. For the first few shows, a listener was paid two dollars for a question that was used, and five dollars more if the experts could not answer it correctly. When the show got its first sponsor (Canada Dry), the total amounts were increased to five and ten dollars respectively. A complete Encyclopedia Britannica was later added to the prize for questions that stumped the panel. The amounts went up to ten and twenty-five dollars when Lucky Strike took over sponsorship of the program.

Regulars

Panel regulars included writer-actor-pianist Oscar Levant and newspaper columnists and renowned wits and intellectuals Franklin P. Adams and John Kieran. All the panelists were well-versed in a wide range of topics, though each had a specialty. Music and film questions were often addressed to Levant. Adams was well known for his mastery of poetry, popular culture and Gilbert and Sullivan. Kieran was an expert in natural history, sports and literature. A typical question would have three or four parts and would require the panelists to get a majority of the questions right, lest they lose the prize money.

The show would always have a fourth guest panelist, usually a celebrity, a politician or writer. Guest panelists included Fred Allen, Boris Karloff, Clare Boothe Luce, Dorothy Parker, S. J. Perelman, Sigmund Spaeth, Rex Stout, Jan Struther, Deems Taylor, Alexander Woollcott, George S. Kaufman, Ruth Gordon, Orson Welles, and a very young Myron "Mike" Wallace.

The show was as much a comedy as a quiz show. The panelists displayed a quick wit in answering the questions, reveling in puns and malapropisms. (For instance, once the panel was asked to supply a common household expression. Adams: "Please pass the salt." Kieran: "The front doorbell's ringing." Levant: "Are you going to stay in that bathroom all day?") Due to the spontaneous nature of the program, it became the first show for which NBC allowed a prerecorded repeat for the West Coast.


Accolades

During World War II, the show frequently went on tours from its New York City base to promote the buying of war bonds. Instead of the usual cash prize, a question writer would win a bond. The show received several awards as an outstanding radio quiz show.

In 1947, Golenpaul edited the Information Please Almanac, a reference book which continued through the years in different formats.

Television


Information Please went to television from June 29 to September 21, 1952 on CBS Sunday nights at 9:30 PM as a summer replacement for Fred Waring's self-titled musical variety series. Adams and Kieran returned to the show, with Fadiman again as host and two guest celebrities. On August 17, Fadiman was replaced by John McCaffery for the rest of the show's run.

The popularity of the series also led to film shorts (1940-1943) and two card games. The show was satirized by the zany panel of radio's It Pays to Be Ignorant.

A variation of Information Please, this time a program devoted exclusively to music with the same four-member panel format, became popular when it was televised in Los Angeles in 1953. After two years of local success, Musical Chairs became a summer replacement series on NBC. The Bill Leyden-hosted game show lasted eleven weeks on the national airwaves.

EPISODES LIST

Information Please 38-05-17 (001) Guest - Harry Overstreet, Marcus Dufield
Information Please 38-06-07 (004) Guest - John Erskine, Bernard Jaffe, Marcus Duffield
Information Please 38-06-14 (005) Guest - Marc Connolly
Information Please 38-06-21 (006) Guest - Oscar Levant
Information Please 38-06-28 (007) Guest - Carmen Snow
Information Please 38-07-05 (008) Guest - Oscar Levant
Information Please 38-07-12 (009) Guest - Quincy Howe, George S Kaufman
Information Please 38-07-19 (010) Guest - Thomas Craven, Ben Hect
Information Please 38-07-26 (011) Guest - Oscar Levant, John Gunther
Information Please 38-08-02 (012) Guest - Moss Hart, Quincy Howe, George Kaufman
Information Please 38-08-09 (013) Guest - Alton Cook, Alice Dever Miller
Information Please 38-08-23 (015) Guest - Percy Waxman
Information Please 38-08-30 (016) Guest - Ben Hecht
Information Please 38-09-06 (017) Guest - Ben Bernie, Bernard Jaffe
Information Please 38-09-13 (018) Guest - Percy Waxman
Information Please 38-09-27 (020) Guest - Basil Rathbone, Sigmund Spaeth
Information Please 38-10-04 (021) Guest - Dorothy Thompson, William Bonnell
Information Please 38-10-11 (022) Guest - Lillian Gish
Information Please 38-10-18 (023) Guest - Gene Tunney
Information Please 38-11-01 (025) Guest - Oswald Jacoby
Information Please 38-11-15 (027) Guest - John Gunther
Information Please 38-11-29 (029) Guest - Kathleen Norris
Information Please 38-12-27 (033) Guest - William Lyon Phelps, Yale Professor
Information Please 39-01-03 (034) Guest - Cornelia Otis Skinner, Erwin Edgar
Information Please 39-01-10 (035) Guest - Alxander Wolcott
Information Please 39-01-17 (036) Guest - Hendrics William Van Lone, Ogden Nash
Information Please 39-01-24 (037) Guest - General Hugh Johnson
Information Please 39-01-31 (038) Guest - Gilbert Seldes, Elizabeth Hoare
Information Please 39-02-07 (039) Guest - University of Michigan Student - Myron Wallace
Information Please 39-02-14 (040) Guest - Russel Crouse, Frank Sullivan
Information Please 39-02-21 (041) Guest - Moe Berg
Information Please 39-03-21 (046) Guest - John Gunther
Information Please 39-03-28 (047) Guest - Rex Stout, Moss Hart
Information Please 39-04-11 (049) Guest - Deems Taylor, Marc Duffield
Information Please 39-04-18 (050) Guest - H V Kaltenborn
Information Please 39-04-25 (051) Guest - Arthur Crock, Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Information Please 39-05-16 (054) Guest - John P Marquand
Information Please 39-05-23 (055) Guest - Bernard Jaffe, Clarence Buddington Kellen
Information Please 39-05-30 (056) Guest - Stanley Walker
Information Please 39-06-13 (058) Guest - Helen Wills Moody
Information Please 39-06-20 (059) Guest - Gracie Allen, John Gunther
Information Please 39-06-27 (060) Guest - Wilber Cross
Information Please 39-07-04 (061) Guest - Lillian Gish, Marc Duffield
Information Please 39-07-11 (062) Guest - Elliot Roosevelt
Information Please 39-07-18 (063) Guest - Clarence B Kellen, William Peavey
Information Please 39-07-25 (064) Guest - Maury Maverick
Information Please 39-08-01 (065) Guest - Russel Crouse, James Kiernan
Information Please 39-08-22 (068) Guest - H Napier Moore
Information Please 39-08-29 (069) Guest - Rex Stout, Wilford Funk
Information Please 39-09-05 (070) Guest - Raymond Graham Swing
Information Please 39-09-12 (071) Guest - Alice Marble, Bernard Jaffe
Information Please 39-09-19 (072) Guest - P Cal Simms
Information Please 39-09-26 (073) Guest - Rex Stout, Carl Van Doren
Information Please 39-10-03 (074) Guest - Dean C Mildred Thompson of Vasser College
Information Please 39-10-10 (075) Guest - Christopher Morley, John T Flynn
Information Please 39-10-17 (076) Guest - Moe Berg
Information Please 39-10-24 (077) Guest Taylor Louis Untermeyer
Information Please 39-10-31 (078) Guest - Carl Sandberg
Information Please 39-11-07 (079) Guest - Christopher Morley, Marcus Jacques
Information Please 39-11-14 (080) Guest - James Farley
Information Please 39-11-21 (081) Guest - Moe Berg, JP MacElvoy
Information Please 39-12-05 (083) Guest - Deems Taylor, Henry Pringle
Information Please 39-12-12 (084) Guest - Walter B Pitkin
Information Please 39-12-19 (085) Guest - Christopher Morley, Albert Spaulding
Information Please 39-12-26 (086) Guest - Sir Cedric Hardwick
Information Please 40-01-02 (087) Guest - Carl Van Doren, Gloria Stewart
Information Please 40-08-20 (120) Guest Walter Wanger
Information Please 40-08-27 (121) Guest Christopher Morley, James Roosevelt
Information Please 40-09-03 (122) Guest Henry Beedle Hough
Information Please 40-09-10 (123) Guest Jan Struther, John Gunther
Information Please 40-09-17 (124) Guest Otto Tallicious
Information Please 40-09-24 (125) Guest - Alva Johnson, Marc Connolly
Information Please 40-10-01 (126) Guest - Clair Boothe
Information Please 40-10-08 (127) Guest - Jan Struther, Louis Bromfield
Information Please 40-10-15 (128) Guest Louis Hacker
Information Please 40-10-22 (129) Guest Taylor, Herbert Bayard Swope of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Information Please 40-10-29 (130) Guest John Mason Brown
Information Please 40-11-05 (131) Guest - Christopher Morley
Information Please 40-11-15 (132) Guest - Fred Allen
Information Please 40-11-22 (133) Guest Warden Lewis-  E Lawes, Deems Taylor
Information Please 40-11-29 (134) Guest - Leon Henderson
Information Please 40-12-06 (135) Elmer Rice, Jan Struther
Information Please 40-12-13 (136) Guest - Professor Ernest Albert Hooton
Information Please 40-12-20 (137) Louis Bromfield, Herbert Marshall
Information Please 40-12-27 (138) Walter Edmonds
Information Please 41-01-03 (139) Deems Taylor, Vincent Sheehan
Information Please 41-01-10 (140) Judge James C Wallace, Kenneth Simpson
Information Please 41-01-17 (141) Owen Davis
Information Please 41-01-24 (142) Guest - Boris Karloff, Warden Lewis E Laws
Information Please 41-01-31 (143) Alexander Wolcott, Sj Perleman
Information Please 41-02-07 (144) Jan Struther, Sir Wilmot Lewis
Information Please 41-02-14 (145) Guest - Deems Taylor, Dr Henry Noble McCracken
Information Please 41-02-21 (146) Guest - Jo Davidson
Information Please 41-02-28 (147) John O'Hara, Deems Taylor
Information Please 41-03-07 (148) Christopher Morley, Elmer F Layden
Information Please 41-03-14 (149) Claude Wickard
Information Please 41-03-21 (150) Guest - Roland Young, Deems Taylor
Information Please 41-03-28 (151) Guest - Elsa Lanchester
Information Please 41-04-04 (152) Guest - John Gunther, Lymon Bryson
Information Please 41-04-11 (153) Guest - Philip Merivale
Information Please 41-04-18 (154) Rex Stout, Henry Curran - Chief Magistrate
Information Please 41-04-25 (155) Paul Lukas
Information Please 41-05-02 (156) Donald Ogden Stuart
Information Please 41-05-09 (157) Gene Tunney
Information Please 41-05-16 (158) Frank Sullivan, Dick Maney
Information Please 41-05-23 (159) Third Anniversary Show
Information Please 41-05-30 (160) Cornelia Otis Skinner, Jan Struther
Information Please 41-06-06 (161) Guest - Sally Benson
Information Please 41-06-13 (162) William Tilden
Information Please 41-06-20 (163) Guest - Judge James Wallace, Governor Alfred E Smith
Information Please 41-06-27 (164) Guest - Alfred Hitchcock
Information Please 41-07-04 (165) John Gunther, Walter Durante
Information Please 41-07-11 (166) Guest - Mary Boland
Information Please 41-08-01 (169) Guest - Lyman Bryson, Dr Henry Noble McCracken
Information Please 41-08-08 (170) Guest - Larry Macphale
Information Please 41-08-15 (171) Guest - Deems Taylor, Russel Crouse
Information Please 41-09-05 (174) Guest - Deems Taylor
Information Please 41-09-12 (175) Louis Bromfield, Margarite Leach
Information Please 41-09-19 (176) Guest - Stephen Vincent Bonet
Information Please 41-09-26 (177) Guest - Sir Thomas Beecham, Jan Struther
Information Please 41-10-03 (178) Guest - Lefty Gomez, Mayor Fiorellio Laguardia
Information Please 41-10-17 (180) Guest - Fred Allen
Information Please 41-10-24 (181) Guest - C S Forester, Russell Crouse
Information Please 41-10-31 (182) Guest - Groucho Marx
Information Please 41-11-07 (183) Guest - Douglas Miller
Information Please 41-11-21 (185) Guest - Cornelia Otis Skinner
Information Please 41-11-28 (186) Guest - Drew Pearson, Robert Allen
Information Please 41-12-05 (187) Edna Ferber, Deems Taylor
Information Please 41-12-12 (188) Dr George N Shuster
Information Please 41-12-19 (189) Jan Struther, Joseph E Davies
Information Please 41-12-26 (190) Guest - John Gunther
Information Please 42-01-16 (193) Guest - Paul Gallico, Russell Crouse
Information Please 42-01-23 (194) Alexander Wolcott, Deems Taylor
Information Please 42-02-06 (196) Ruth Hussey, Christopher Morley
Information Please 42-02-20 (198) Guest - Boris Karloff, John Carradine
Information Please 42-02-27 (199) Guest - Emil Ludwig
Information Please 42-03-06 (200) Julian Huxley- Jan Struther
Information Please 42-03-20 (202) John Carradine- Sir Thomas Beecham
Information Please 42-03-27 (203) Guest - Wallace R Deuel
Information Please 42-04-17 (206) Grantland Rice
Information Please 42-05-08 (209) Margaret Webster- Richard Manney
Information Please 42-05-22 (211) Roland Young- Deems Taylor
Information Please 42-05-29 (212) Wallace R Dual
Information Please 42-05-29 (219) Guest - Senator Henry Cabot Lodge
Information Please 42-06-19 (215) Cornelia Otis Skinner- Christopher Morley
Information Please 42-07-10 (218) Hi Philips- Deems Taylor
Information Please 42-07-14 (219) Guest - Wallace R Deuel
Information Please 42-07-24 (220) Guest - Paul Gallico, Arthur Garfield Hayes
Information Please 42-08-07 (222) Guest - Ned Sparks, Russell Crouse
Information Please 42-08-14 (223) Guest - Dr Mildred McAfee
Information Please 42-08-21 (224) Leon Henderson, Raymond Clapper
Information Please 42-08-28 (225) Quincy Howe
Information Please 42-09-04 (226) Guest - C S Forrester, Jan Struther
Information Please 42-09-11 (227) Guest - Alva Johnston
Information Please 42-09-18 (228) Guest - Orson Welles, Christopher Morley
Information Please 42-09-25 (229) Guest - Leon Henderson
Information Please 42-10-02 (230) Robert St John, Deems Taylor
Information Please 42-10-09 (231) Gregory Ratoff
Information Please 42-10-30 (234) Carl Sandburg, Christopher Morley
Information Please 42-11-06 (235) Hanson W Baldwin
Information Please 42-11-20 (237) Louie Bromfield
Information Please 42-11-27 (238) Leon Henderson, Wilma Lord Henderson
Information Please 42-12-04 (239) Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, Governor Leverett Saltenstahl
Information Please 42-12-11 (240) William L Shirer, Christopher Morley
Information Please 42-12-18 (241) Guest - Ilka Chase
Information Please 42-12-25 (242) James Wallace, Leon Henderson
Information Please 43-01-01 (243) Gregory Ratoff
Information Please 43-01-08 (244) Will Rogers, Jr
Information Please 43-01-15 (245) Charles Coburn, Deems Taylor
Information Please 43-01-22 (246) Guest - Alfred Hitchcock
Information Please 43-01-29 (247) Guest - Emily Kimbrough, Cornelia Otis Skinner
Information Please 43-02-05 (248) Guest - Jan Struther
Information Please 43-02-15 (249) Guest - Fred Allen
Information Please 43-03-01 (251) Guest - Will Rogers, Jr
Information Please 43-03-08 (252) Guest - Gregory Ratoff
Information Please 43-03-15 (253) Guest - Jan Struther
Information Please 43-03-29 (255) Guest  - Colonel Carlos Romules
Information Please 43-04-05 (256) Guest - Cornelia Otis Skinner, Jan Struther
Information Please 43-04-12 (257) Guest - Wendell Willkie
Information Please 43-04-19 (258) Guest - Ford Frick, Grantland Rice
Information Please 43-04-26 (259) Guest - Leon Henderson
Information Please 43-05-10 (261) Guest - George V Denny, Jr
Information Please 43-05-17 (262) Guest - Boris Karloff, Jan Struther
Information Please 43-05-24 (263) Guest - Ethel Barrymore, Richard Manney
Information Please 43-05-31 (264) Guest - Sir Thomas Beecham
Information Please 43-06-07 (265) Guest - Marsha Davenport, Deems Taylor
Information Please 43-06-14 (266) Guest - George Saunders
Information Please 43-06-21 (267) Guest - Dr C Mildred Thompson, Christopher Morley
Information Please 43-06-28 (268) Guest - Walter Yust
Information Please 43-07-12 (270) Guest - Jan Struther
Information Please 43-09-13 (271) Guest - Marsha Davenport, Deems Taylor
Information Please 43-09-20 (272) Guest - Clair Booth Luce
Information Please 43-09-27 (273) Guest - James W Fulbright
Information Please 43-10-04 (274) Guest - Red Barber, Bill Stern
Information Please 43-10-25 (277) Guest - Richard Lockridge, John Mason Brown
Information Please 43-11-01 (278) Guest - Bette Smith
Information Please 43-11-08 (279) Guest - Senator Lester Hill, Senator Joseph Ball
Information Please 43-11-15 (280) Guest - Gregory Ratoff
Information Please 43-11-22 (281) Guest - Russel Crouse, Moss Hart
Information Please 43-11-29 (282) Guest - Artur Rubenstein
Information Please 43-12-06 (283) Guest - Louis Brown, Sinclair Lewis
Information Please 43-12-13 (284) Guest - Quincy Howe, Dr. T F Tsiang
Information Please 43-12-20 (285) Guest - Jesse Stewart, Oscar Levant
Information Please 43-12-27 (286) Guest - Leon Henderson, Jan Struther
Information Please 44-01-03 (287) Guest - Louis Bromfield
Information Please 44-01-10 (288) Guest - Christopher Morley, Rep John F Coffee
Information Please 44-01-17 (289) Guest  - John P Marquand
Information Please 44-01-24 (290) Guest  - Elizabeth Janeway, Deems Taylor
Information Please 44-02-28 (295) Guest - Franchot Tone
Information Please 44-03-13 (297) Guest - Quentin Reynolds
Information Please 44-03-20 (298) Guest - Senator Alben Barkley, Senator Theodore Green
Information Please 44-04-24 (303) Guest - Irene Dunne
Information Please 44-05-08 (305) Guest - Elizabeth Janeway, Jan Struther
Information Please 44-06-12 (310) Guest - Admiral Emory Land
Information Please 44-09-11 (315) Guest - Alexander Knox, Jan Struther
Information Please 44-10-23 (321) Guest - Artur Rubenstein, Louis Brown
Information Please 44-11-06 (323) Guest - Christopher Morley, Will Durant
Information Please 44-11-27 (326) Guest - Leonard Bernstein, Gregory Ratoff
Information Please 44-12-18 (329) Guest - John Mason Brown, Robert Cushman Murphy
Information Please 44-12-25 (330) Guest - Fred Allen, James Wallace
Information Please 45-01-29 (335) Guest - Jan Struther, Russel Crouse
Information Please 45-02-05 (336) Guest - Clifton Webb, Moss Hart
Information Please 45-02-12 (337) Guest - Faith Baldwin, Fred Allen
Information Please 45-02-19 (338) Guest - John Gunther, Gregory Ratoff
Information Please 45-02-26 (339) Guest - Lt Col Edward Eagan, Christopher Morley
Information Please 48-01-30 (xxx) Guests - Helen Traubel, Lauritz Melchior
 

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