Can You Pass a 1950s TV Trivia Quiz?

By: Allison Lips

Can You Pass a 1950s TV Trivia Quiz?
Image: CBS Television via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

The 1950s were a very different time. Women were expected to stay home and take care of their families, while men went to work, so that they could financially support those families. Even though times have changed, many 1950s television shows live on in reruns, the memories of those who were around to watch them the first time, and the history books. 

While the first commercial television broadcast took place from NBC's experimental station W2XBS in 1939, and NBC and CBS both had TV operations in 1941, World War II halted further development of commercial television. After the war, television rebounded quickly. By 1948, there were four networks, NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont, broadcasting over 128 stations. Each network had a full prime-time schedule, which meant they could fill the air with programming from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. However, television wouldn't get some of its most iconic shows until the 1950s. 

Most beloved television shows from this era aired in prime time and were shows that the entire family could watch together. Kids and parents alike enjoyed "I Love Lucy," "Rawhide," "Father Knows Best," "Gusmoke" and various variety and anthology series.

Many shows from this era are lost to time, but that doesn't make them less influential. Test your 1950s TV knowledge with this quiz! 

Which channel did "I Love Lucy" originally air on?
CBS
In 1929, CBS was founded as a radio network. The network would launch as a television one on July 1, 1941.
NBC
DuMont
ABC

Advertisement

Which news show debuted in 1956 and would be succeeded by the NBC Nightly News in 1970?
Today
The Tonight Show
The Huntley-Brinkley Report
On October 29, 1956, "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" aired on NBC. It continued until July 31, 1970.
Face the Nation

Advertisement

Which comedian would dress in drag as Auntie Mildred?
Jackie Gleason
Jack Benny
Milton Berle
On June 8, 1948, "Texaco Star Theatre" debuted as a TV program with Milton Berle as its host. Originally, "Texaco Star Theatre" was a radio program.
Fred Allen

Advertisement

Clint Eastwood appeared as Rowdy Yates on which western?
Bonanza
The Rifleman
Gunsmoke
Rawhide
From January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, CBS aired "Rawhide." It starred Clint Eastwood and Eric Fleming.

Advertisement

Who hosted and produced the show "Twenty-One," which was canceled because of The Quiz Show Scandals?
Allen Ludden
Jack Barry
Jack Barry hosted "Twenty-One" from September 12,1956 to October 15, 1958. In 2000, the game show was revived with Maury Povich as host.
Gene Rayburn
Bill Cullen

Advertisement

Before becoming a series, "The Honeymooners" appeared on which show?
Cavalcade of Stars
"The Honeymooners" aired on CBS for 39 episodes. Alice Kramden was originally played by Pert Kelton.
Texaco Star Theatre
The Twilight Zone
The Colgate Comedy Hour

Advertisement

Which beloved celebrity was the star of "Life with Elizabeth?"
Betty White
Geroge Tibbles created "Life with Elizabeth." The series lasted 65 episodes. Betty White, of course, has lasted a LOT longer.
Carol Burnett
Mary Tyler Moore
Eve Arden

Advertisement

After Steve Allen left "The Tonight Show," who took over as permanent host?
Jackie Gleason
Jack Benny
Gene Rayburn
Jack Paar
On February 11, 1960, Jack Paar walked off the show because he did not agree with a decision the censor had made the night before. On March 7, 1960, Paar returned to the show and said, "As I was saying before I was interrupted..."

Advertisement

Before he hosted "The Tonight Show," which show did Johnny Carson host?
Password
What's My Line?
Who Do You Trust?
"Who Do You Trust?" was originally called "Do You Trust Your Wife?." The show aired from 1956 to 1963. After Johnny Carson left, Woody Woodbury took over as host.
Beat the Clock

Advertisement

On which show did Hugh Beaumont play Ward Cleaver?
Father Knows Best
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Honeymooners
Leave It to Beaver
"Leave It to Beaver" aired on both ABC and CBS. It ran for 6 seasons with a total of 234 episodes.

Advertisement

Which show featuring the Solar Guard aired on ABC, CBS, NBC and the DuMont Network?
The Outer Limits
The Time Tunnel
Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
"Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" started on CBS in 1950. It would air on ABC, NBC and DuMont. After its DuMont run, the show went back to NBC, airing its final episode on June 25, 1955.
Star Trek

Advertisement

Which anthology series did "Twelve Angry Men" originally appear on?
The Twilight Zone
Westinghouse Studio One
In 1954, "Twelve Angry Men" teleplay aired as part of Westinghouse Studio One. The film was released on April 10, 1957.
The Outer Limits
Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Advertisement

Which sitcom was the first show to star an African American actress?
Beulah
At different times, "Beulah" starred Hattie McDaniel, Ethel Waters and Louise Beavers as the eponymous character. Originally, "Beulah" was a radio show on CBS radio. The TV program aired on ABC television from 1950 to 1952.
Julia
Amos 'n Andy
I Love Lucy

Advertisement

Which variety show starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca?
Texaco Star Theatre
Your Show of Shows
In 2002, TV Guide ranked "Your Show of Shows" as number 30 on its list of "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time." In 2013, "Your Show of Shows" came in at 37 on "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time."
The Ed Sullivan Show
The Garry Moore Show

Advertisement

Which show surprised guests with a retrospective of their lives?
This is Your Life
Ralph Edwards created and hosted the American version from 1952 to 1961. Britain, Australia and New Zealand all received versions of this show.
What's My Line?
I've Got a Secret
To Tell the Truth

Advertisement

Paddy Chayefsky wrote a teleplay called "Marty" for which anthology series?
The Philco Television Playhouse
"The Philco Televison Playhouse" was briefly renamed "Repertory Theatre." "Marty" aired as part of this program on May 24, 1953.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Outer Limits
The Twilight Zone

Advertisement

Which Marx brother hosted the show "You Bet Your Life?"
Harpo
Groucho
The TV show "You Bet Your Life" aired on NBC-TV from 1950 to 1961. The series originated on radio.
Chico
Gummo

Advertisement

Which one of the Big Four TV networks did not exist in the 1950s?
CBS
Fox
NBC-TV started on April 20, 1939. CBS started broadcasting television on July 1, 1941. ABC started broadcasting television on April 19, 1948.
ABC
NBC

Advertisement

Which 1950s television show starred Eve Arden and Gale Gordon?
Our Miss Brooks
"Our Miss Brooks" was a TV show and a radio show. The radio show ran from 1948 to 1957. The TV show aired from 1952 to 1956.
The Honeymooners
I Love Lucy
Father Knows Best

Advertisement

Annette Funicello was an original cast member on which show?
Your Show of Shows
Saturday Night Live
Captain Kangaroo
The Mickey Mouse Club
Annette Funicello was 12 when she joined the Mouseketeers. She also starred in the Disney produced "The Shaggy Dog" and "Babes in Toyland."

Advertisement

Which popular TV show was originally called "Toast of the Town?"
I Love Lucy
The Ed Sullivan Show
"The Ed Sullivan Show" aired on CBS. During its entire run, the network kept the show on Sunday night from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Twilight Zone
Your Show of Shows

Advertisement

Which game show host was the first announcer on "The Tonight Show?"
Allen Ludden
Jim Perry
Jack Clark
Gene Rayburn
"Tonight Starring Steve Allen" aired from September 27, 1954 to January 25, 1957. It was broadcast from the Hudson Theatre in New York.

Advertisement

Which game show asked "Will the real x, please stand up?"
What's My Line?
To Tell the Truth
Bud Collyer hosted "To Tell the Truth" from 1956 to 1968. During that time, the show aired on CBS.
I've Got a Secret
Beat the Clock

Advertisement

Which western starred Clayton Moore as the title character?
The Lone Ranger
Jay Silverheels appeared as Tonto in all 221 episodes of "The Lone Ranger." ABC aired the series from 1949 to 1957.
Rawhide
The Rifleman
Gunsmoke

Advertisement

Which western debuted on September 10, 1955 and aired for 20 seasons?
Have Gun - Will Travel
The Rifleman
Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke ran for 635 episodes. For all 20 seasons, the show aired on CBS.
Bonanza

Advertisement

Which show starred a private eye played by Craig Stevens?
Peter Gunn
"Peter Gunn" aired on NBC and ABC. The NBC run went from 1958 to 1960. When the show moved to ABC, it lasted from 1960 to 1961.
The Danny Thomas Show
Leave It to Beaver
Dragnet

Advertisement

Which show featured private detectives named Stu Bailey and Jeff Spencer?
Peter Gunn
Dragnet
Adam-12
77 Sunset Strip
"77 Sunset Strip" ran for 6 seasons on ABC. It aired from October 10, 1958 to February 7, 1964.

Advertisement

Which television show starred the Nelson family?
Leave It to Beaver
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
"The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" starred a family who had the same names as their characters. ABC aired the show from 1952 to 1966.
Father Knows Best
Our Miss Brooks

Advertisement

Which show had a character named Danny Williams?
I Love Lucy
Dragnet
Father Knows Best
Make Room For Daddy
"Make Room for Daddy" received a sequel called "Make Room for Granddaddy." "Make Room for Granddaddy" aired from 1970 to 1971.

Advertisement

Which television show featured housewives telling host Jack Bailey about their lives?
To Tell the Truth
What's My Line
Beat the Clock
Queen for a Day
"Queen for a Day" started on radio. Jack Bailey hosted the television version from 1956 to 1964.

Advertisement

Which Jack Webb show started on radio?
The Jack Benny Program
The Jackie Gleason Show
Dragnet
The first iteration of "Dragnet" starred Jack Webb as Detective Joe Friday and Ben Alexander as Officer Frank Smith. It aired from 1951 to 1959.
Peter Gun

Advertisement

Which TV western is a fictionalized account of a real person with the same name?
Bat Masterson
"Bat Masterson" starred Gene Barry. It lasted 3 seasons and ran for 107 episodes.
Peter Gunn
Gunsmoke
Bonanza

Advertisement

Who was the original host of "Today?"
Dave Garroway
Sylvester "Pat" Weaver created "Today." Dave Garroway hosted "Today" from 1952 to 1961.
Mike Wallace
Tom Browkaw
Dan Rather

Advertisement

Which TV show starred Lloyd Bridges as scuba diver Mike Nelson?
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Rifleman
Flipper
Sea Hunt
"Sea Hunt" aired in syndication from 1958 to 1961. The show lasted 4 seasons.

Advertisement

Which children's show starred Bob Keeshan?
Captain Kangaroo
"Captain Kangaroo" lasted 6,090 episodes. The show aired from 1955 to 1984.
Circus Boy
Kukla, Fran and Ollie
The Mickey Mouse Club

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured