Can You Pass a 1950s TV Trivia Quiz?

By: Heather Cahill

Can You Pass a 1950s TV Trivia Quiz?
Image: CBS

About This Quiz

Television's Golden Age brought the world some of the greatest shows of all time. It was a time when black and white television transitioned to color and some of the most famous stars on Earth dominated the industry. It brought everything from mystery and horror to Westerns and comedies to the small screen, paving the way for television after it. What was your favorite television show from the era?

Do you know the names of televisions theme songs at the time? Can you name the biggest stars and the shows that they were on? What fun facts do you know about television shows of the time? There is so much to know about '50s television, so brush up on your trivia to ace this quiz!

Can you name the '50s game show that Groucho Marx hosted? Do you know which television show never had rehearsals? Can you name the show where you would hear the phrase: "I gotta kill that boy, I just gotta!"? If you said yes to any of these questions, you really know your stuff!

So, if you think you're a true '50s television fan, or if you just know your trivia, this one is for you. Take the quiz to see how well you know the shows of the decade!

Who created Desilu Productions?
Elvis Presley and Arthur Miller
Richard Nixon and Elizabeth Taylor
Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz
Desilu Productions was created by Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz. The company was able to secure a deal to get "I Love Lucy" on television.
Frank Sinatra and John Wayne

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The character Tonto is from which television show?
"Dragnet"
"Hopalong Cassidy"
"The Lone Ranger"
Tonto is from the television show "The Lone Ranger." Tonto was a friend of the Lone Ranger who accompanied him on his journeys.
"Lassie"

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Which television show is the phrase "Get out of Dodge" from?
"The Jackie Gleason Show"
"Andy Pandy"
"Gunsmoke"
This phrase was popularized and common to hear on the television show "Gunsmoke." The word Dodge refers to a city in Kansas.
"Leave it to Beaver"

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Which of these shows was a popular crime show in the '50s?
"Dragnet"
"Dragnet" was a crime show that was popular in the '50s. starring Jack Webb. The show started off on radio, then was brought to television due to its popularity.
"The Rifleman"
"American Bandstand"
"Candid Camera"

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Which television actress gave birth to her child in real life on the same day that her character on her television show gave birth?
Grace Kelly
Lucille Ball
This was Lucille Ball from "I Love Lucy." Lucille was pregnant at the time of filming season two, so the producers of the show made her character pregnant as well. The two gave birth on January 19, 1953.
Kim Novak
Ruby Dee

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What was "Candid Camera"?
a drama
a mystery
a prank show
"Candid Camera" was a prank show which played jokes on unsuspecting victims. Before it became a television show, it was aired on the radio under the name "Candid Microphone."
an action

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Which of these shows is a children's television show?
"Gunsmoke"
"I Love Lucy"
"Texaco Star Theatre"
"Andy Pandy"
"Andy Pandy" is a children's television show that first aired in 1950. The show was animated and narrated, following the adventures of Andy.

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Which of the following characters is from the television show "Dixon of Dock Green"?
Constable George Dixon
Constable George Dixon is from this television show. He was a police officer and the show got its start in 1955, running for around 20 years.
Etta Stone
June Cleaver
Ben Cartwright

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Who hosted "American Bandstand"?
Dick Clark
Dick Clark was the host of "American Bandstand." Did you know that Dick only ever had one co-host in the show's entire run? It was Donna Summer, who joined him for a very special episode.
Johnny Cash
John Wayne
Elvis Presley

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Who played the Captain on "Captain Kangaroo"?
Clark Gable
Rock Hudson
Bob Keeshan
Bob Keeshan played the infamous Captain on the show. You may also remember him from his role on "Howdy Doody" as Clarabell!
Clint Eastwood

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Who portrayed "Hopalong Cassidy"?
Marlon Brando
James Stewart
John Wayne
William Boyd
William Boyd played the role of Hopalong Cassidy. Did you know that the show was the first true Western show on television when it aired in 1955?

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Which president appeared in the show "Wagon Train"?
Bill Clinton
John Adams
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan made an appearance in the show "Wagon Train." This took place in season seven, where he played Captain Paul Winters.
Martin Van Buren

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Who was one of the main characters in "Rawhide"?
Gil Favor
Gil Favor was one of the main characters in the show, portrayed by Eric Fleming. The show aired for around 6 years and also starred Clint Eastwood.
Jim Quince
Ian Cabot
Yo-yo

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Who narrated "The Twilight Zone"?
Frank Sinatra
Jack Lemmon
Eve Arden
Rod Serling
Rod Serling narrated and created episodes for "The Twilight Zone." Did you know that Orson Welles was considered as the narrator for the show instead?

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What was the first television show to put a toilet on screen?
"Bonanza"
"Have Gun - Will Travel"
"Maverick"
"Leave it to Beaver"
It was "Leave it to Beaver" that did this. The small portion of the toilet shown in the show sparked a large conflict with the FCC, who then wanted to censor it.

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Which actress from "It's A Wonderful Life" had her own show in the 1950s?
Virginia Patton
Gloria Grahame
Lillian Randolph
Donna Reed
Donna Reed had her own show in the '50s called "The Donna Reed Show." It was a sitcom that aired in 1958 and stayed on the air for eight years.

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Groucho Marx hosted what game show in the '50s?
"What's My Line?"
"Father Knows Best"
"You Bet Your Life"
Groucho Marx hosted the game show "You Bet Your Life." It was a quiz game show that gathered contestants from the audience, instead of preselecting them.
"The Today Show"

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Which actor from the show "Bonanza" hated it?
Pernell Roberts
Pernell Roberts was not a fan of his show "Bonanza." He hated it so much that he did all that he could to leave, eventually departing in 1964.
Guy Williams
Lorne Greene
Michael Landon

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What television show was based on a book?
"The Real McCoys"
"Gunsmoke"
"Perry Mason"
"Perry Mason" was based on not just one book, but many that were written by Erle Stanley Gardner. The show even got its own reboot in the '70s!
"Lassie"

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Which '50s television show shares a city name with "The Simpsons"?
"Our Miss Brooks"
"Captain Kangaroo"
"Perry Mason"
"Father Knows Best"
"Father Knows Best" shares the name of its city with "The Simpsons." The two shows both take place in a city known as Springfield.

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Which of these shows starred Walter Brennan?
"The Lone Ranger"
"Dragnet"
"The Real McCoys"
Walter Brennan starred in the show "The Real McCoys." He played the role of Amos McCoy, the grandfather of the McCoy family.
"Captain Kangaroo"

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The episode "Hadley's Hunters" from the television show "Maverick" is filled with what?
love
hit songs
crime
cameos
This episode of "Maverick" is famous for the many cameos from other stars. A few of the other stars include Clint Walker and John Russell.

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Is it true or false that Lassie was a boy?
True
This is true. The first dog to play Lassie was a male collie named Pal. He played Lassie in the 1950s on the television show based on the movies.
False

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"Melancholy Serenade" was the theme song for which television show?
"The Lone Ranger"
"Leave it to Beaver"
"I Love Lucy"
"The Jackie Gleason Show"
"The Jackie Gleason Show" used a theme song called "Melancholy Serenade." Did you know that the show was first called "Cavalcade of Stars"?

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In which show would you hear the phrase: "I gotta kill that boy, I just gotta!"?
"It's A Wonderful Life"
"You Bet Your Life"
"Texaco Star Theatre"
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"
This phrase is from the show "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," said by Herbert T. Gillis. Herbert is Dobie Gillis' father in the show and says this in reference to his son.

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Which of the following did "Our Miss Brooks" transition into?
movie
video game
novel
comic book
"Our Miss Brooks" started as a television show and later transitioned into a comic book. The comic book is the same name as the show and was also released in the '50s.

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What was the most-watched television show in 1955?
"Maverick"
"Rawhide"
"The $64,000 Question"
"The $64,000 Question" was the most watched show of 1955. This was also the year that the show premiered and it was first hosted by Bob Hawk.
"I Love Lucy"

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Which actor from "The Rifleman" became a recording artist?
Joan Taylor
John Harmon
Johnny Crawford
Johnny Crawford from "The Rifleman" became a recording artist. He starred in "The Rifleman" as Mark McCain for the show's six-year run.
Chuck Connors

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The "Texaco Star Theatre" starred which of these famous actors of the '50s?
Milton Berle
The "Texaco Star Theatre" starred many popular actors of the time, including Milton Berle. He had an incredible career and got his start in vaudeville.
Clark Gable
John Wayne
Jackie Gleason

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Which television show aired one episode that was silent?
"The Honeymooners"
"Lassie"
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"
"77 Sunset Strip"
"77 Sunset Strip" aired a silent episode called "The Silent Caper." No tone word was spoken throughout the entire episode, making it one of the most unique in the series.

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Which show first started filming in Grand Central Station?
"What's My Line?"
The first episodes of "What's My Line?" were recorded in Grand Central Station. However, this isn't as unique as it sounds! A few other shows at the time got their start there as well.
"The Today Show"
"You Bet Your Life"
"The Rifleman"

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Which show from the '50s was the first to air more than 1,000 episodes?
"The Lone Ranger"
"Dragnet"
"The Jackie Gleason Show"
"Howdy Doody"
"Howdy Doody," the lovable kids' show, aired more than 1,000 episodes in its more than 12-year run. It was also one of the first kids' shows to air on television.

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Which famous show got its start in the '50s?
"The Today Show"
"The Today Show" got its start in 1952 with Dave Garroway as the first host. The show is one of the longest-running television shows in history.
"I Love Lucy"
"Candid Camera"
"Our Miss Brooks"

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Which television show spawned a radio show?
"77 Sunset Strip"
"American Bandstand"
"The Twilight Zone"
"Have Gun - Will Travel"
"Have Gun - Will Travel" had its own radio show, which also aired in the late 1950s. The cast on the radio show was different than that of the television show.

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Which show did not have rehearsals?
"Rawhide"
"The Honeymooners"
"The Honeymooners" did not have rehearsals before filming, due to a preference by Jackie Gleason. Even though the shows weren't rehearsed, the cast still nailed them, making a memorable show.
"What's My Line?"
"Dixon of Dock Green"

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