Classic Television Thursday #010 – You Asked For It (1950-1959)

you1You Asked For It was an odd little show which aired from 1920 to 1959. Originally titled The Art Barker Show, the title was changed to You Asked For It in 1952. Each week, host Barker (who left the show in 1958 to be replaced by Jack Smith) would introduce and host segments responding to requests sent in on postcard from viewers throughout the country.

There were two very interesting things about the show that made it stand out from the crowd. First, because of the very nature of the show, viewers never quite knew what they would be getting from week to week. One segments might be a “where are they now?” type update, another might be some type of expose, while another might be a recreation of a scene from a classic novel or movie, such as William Tell shooting an arrow off his son’s head.

Second, because the show aired live (with some pre-recorded filmed inserts) there was always the possibility that some of the stunts might go wrong, making it even more enthralling at times.

Here are some clips (and even a couple of full episodes) from the show:

You Asked For It has had a number of revivals since its original run, and it occurs to me that in this age of e-mail and twitter and so many shows being based around “fan interaction” the time may very well be ripe for yet another incarnation of this classic show.












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