Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Professor Robert Thompson, our expert on American Television and Popular Culture from Syracuse University joins us to look at Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour – truly the original American Idol program which debuted on television sixty hours ago this year.
This television pioneer was successor to Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour, a radio fixture dating back to 1934.
We talk about the similarities between the original and modern day program, the differences between them, and just what it all means about us as a society. We even touch upon the gong, a variation of the Vaudevillian hook that inspired Chuck Barris’ ”The Gong Show”.