It Pays to Be Ignorant (1948)
8min · Comedy, Short · 24 December 1948
The first of a very short series, since it would become a TV series in 1949, based on the radio program that ran on CBS from 1944 through 1949. The premise of the program was intended as a satire and parody version of the "intellecutual" quiz shows on radio in the 40's, such as "Information Please" and "The Quiz Kids." The show---radio,film and TV (for those who seem to be convinced that the TV program popped up on its own in 1949 and there were no other incarnations)--- was "emceed", as it was, by long-time Vaudevillian Tom Howard, whose function was to ask a simple question of the panelists, i. e., ..."from what kind of mines do we get gold," "who came first,Henry VIII or Henry I", "what do the letters 'U.S.'stand for on United States mail boxes" and such. No question in the history---radio, film, TV---of the show was ever answered correctly by panelists George Sherlton, an old vaudeville-hoofer pardner of Howard's; Lulu McConnell, a performer with a sawblade voice who pre-dated all of the Booths and Barrymores in show business; and Harry McNaughton, a Britisher who looked down on johnny-come-latelys such as Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin. The panel usually spent an amazing amount of time trying to determine just exactly what the question was before taking off on tangents not remotely connected to the question. "It Pays To Be Ignorant"---on radio-films and TV-- was somewhat of a family affair as it was written by Howard's daughter Ruth and her husband Bob Howell, while Tom Jr. orchestrated the music.
- Written by
Director(s): Herbert PolesieCast: Tom Howard, Lulu McConnell, Harry McNaughton