You Asked For It was an education / entertainment / variety series, but it could also possibly be called one of the first reality TV shows. It aired during its first season on the Dumont Network and then on ABC thereafter. Home viewers would send a postcard to the show requesting something that they would like to see on the air. There were no interstate highways in the 1950s. Air travel was very expensive and/or uncomfortable. Top name entertainers tended to appear only on the east or west coasts. This series allowed the middle-americans of the day to see things and acts that they would otherwise never experience.
You Asked For It Cast
Art Baker (Host: 1950-1958)
Jack C. Smith (Host: 1958-1959)
You Asked For It Trivia
You Asked For It was not the first program of this type. From 1948 to 1949 NBC aired a very similar program called, "I'd Like To See".
There were three attempts to bring You Asked For It back on the air. During the 1971-72 season, "You Asked For It" reappeared as a syndicated series hosted by Jack C. Smith. There were additional occasional "special" episodes produced until 1977. From 1981 to 1983, Rich Little hosted another version, also in syndication. Jack C. Smith also appeared on that series to narrate clips from the two previous versions of the show. In 1991, 22 more episodes aired on the Family Channel titled, "You Asked For It Again" and hosted by Jimmy Brogan. That show also showed both new, original requested material and archived footage from previous series.
Jack C. Smith also hosted a TV show called, "The American West (1968)". His nickname was "Smilin' Jack.
Just to give you an idea of what some of the things shown on You Asked For It were like, here's some of them:
1. A diver swan in a tank with an Octopus that had six-foot long tentacles!
2. A woman played the "Theramin" ... a musical instrument that can be played without touching it!
3. A stunt man showed how a cowboy can be shot with an arrow in the movies without being injured! He also showed gunshot & knife-throwing stunts and how an actor can crash through a window safely!
4. Many Vaudeville acts from the 1930's performed.
5. A circus Elephant Trainer showed how elephants are trained to step on, lay on and walk over a man without crushing him to death!
6. A lady sword swallower who could bend a blade while it was inside of her throat!
7. A baseball clown from the St. Louis Browns performed his act! Baseball clowns were quite popular at games in those days!
8. Carol Ann Beery, the daughter of famed actor Wallace Beery, showed home movies of her dad including a scene whith Jack Dempsey! It included a shot of Beery being made an honory Indian Chief!
9. A leading magician of the time, Dr. Tarbell, showed off his special ability called "Eyeless Vision"!
"Whatever it is, where ever it is, at home or around the world, you see it here, YOU ASKED FOR IT. And here's you host, Jack Smith."
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