Surrealist nightclub comedian and pianist Don Hornsby had signed a five-year contract to host the series (based on an endorsement from Bob Hope), but was diagnosed with polio a week before the debut and died less than a week later. See more »
Originally Jerry Lester's version alternated with Morey Amsterdam's
When "Broadway Open House" first aired, Jerry Lester and comedian Morey Amsterdam (later a side kick on the "Dick Van Dyke Show") hosted their own versions of the show on alternate weekday nights. The version described above (with Milton Delugg and Dagmar) is the Jerry Lester version. It was the more popular of the two, probably because of Dagmar. Recall that this was the era when movies and TV never showed even husbands and wives in the same bed, and showing any cleavage on TV could bring an FCC censorship crack down.
The program originated in New York City at 11 pm Eastern Time. In those days all television shows originated as live black and white television. Studios did not yet have a means of making electronic recordings of television shows. The only recordings were called "kinescopes," made by filming the TV screen in a manner that adjusted for difference between 24 frame per second standard camera shutter speeds and the TV camera scanning speed. I wonder whether NBC California stations showed this late night program as early as 8 pm Pacific Time?
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