Early TV Shows with Curious Titles

television, 1952Here’s something different to start the week.

In doing research for my pop culture posts, I learn about a lot of old, obscure stuff. Like early TV shows.

Some of those early TV show had interesting titles, so today I thought I’d highlight a handful of them…

Your Television Babysitter
(DuMont, 1948)
This was a storytelling show for young children. The title not only encapsulates the unspoken purpose of every children’s TV show that ever existed, but it speaks directly to the parent while totally ignoring the intended audience. Amazing.

Personal Appearance Theater
(ABC, 1951)
I was hoping this would be skits about proper 1950s grooming practices. But it was just a regular old anthology series.

Foodini the Great
(CBS, 1948)
This was a puppet show starring a bad-guy magician-puppet named Foodini. But it could have been a cooking show featuring a jokey Italian chef who also did magic tricks. Speaking of chefs…

I Love to Eat
(NBC, 1946)
This was the first network cooking show, hosted by none other than James Beard. The title is both to-the-point and entirely true, as I do indeed love to eat. :)

Spin the Picture
(DuMont, 1949)
I thought this title might be a metaphor, but no. This was a game show that involved recognizing a famous person in a spinning photograph. Sounds like riveting, pivoting TV.

Mysteries of Chinatown
(ABC, 1949)
This was a crime drama set in Chinatown. But I really, really wanted it to be a pair of WASPy hosts wandering around Chinatown and offering their first impressions of things.

Are there any TV show titles that you particularly like? I’ve always appreciated the title of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for instance. (I never actually watched the show, though.)


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