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Television Trivia

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Game show host Bob Barker started out as a disc jockey in Burbank, California, where he was discovered in 1956. Hired to host a daytime version of Truth or consequences, Barker spent 19 years at the show before joining The Price is Right in 1972. He has one 14 Emmy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement award, for his work on The Price is Right.

Game show host Bob Eubanks was a concert promoter before becoming the host of The Newlywed Game in 1966. In 1964, he brought the Beatles to the Hollywood Bowl, and he joined Los Angeles's KRLA station as a disc jockey. It was at the radio station that Chuck Barris signed him to be the smart aleck host of The Newlywed Game.

Game show host Gene Rayburn was a page at NBC Studios in 1936. It wasn't until 1947 that he got his break as half of a radio team in New York. By 1954, he was hosting The Sky's the Limit, when he became the announcer on Steve Allen's Tonight Show. In 1973, he began hosting Match Game '73 and became the leading game show host of the 1970s.

Game show host Regis Philbin's childhood goal was to be a talk show host. In 1967, he began as the sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show, but lost his job when the Tonight Show trounced it in the ratings. In 1975, Philbin hosted his first game show, The Neighbors.

Gene Barry was originally offered the role of accused murderer Dr. Richard Kimble in the 1960s TV drama The Fugitive, but turned it down for fear of being negatively influenced by the character every week: "He was played very furtively. I thought I had to be more outward." Barry later chose to do Burke's Law, which ran from 1963-1966 and was revived in 1993. David Janssen was selected to play Dr. Kimble, and The Fugitive ran (literally) for four strong seasons.

George Peppard was hired to play Blake Carrington in the Dynasty TV pilot. A heated argument with executives over how the character should be played prompted Peppard to leave the show. John Forsythe was his replacement.

Gilda Radner was the first person hired for the first Saturday Night Live troupe; John Belushi was the last cast member hired.

Goldie Hawn was a dancer until she was spotted in the chorus line of a 1966 Andy Griffith special. Her first acting role was as a gossipy neighbor in the one-season comedy series, Good Morning, World in 1967. From there, Hawn went to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and stardom.

Harvey Korman made his screen debut in a bit role as a press agent in the film Gypsy (1962). He later became a household name when he joined the cast of The Carol Burnett Show.

Helen Hunt, award-winning co-star of the TV sitcom Mad About You and the film As Good As It Gets, appeared on the Mary Tyler Moore Show when she was 7 years old as the daughter of Murray Slaughter, played by Gavin MacLeod.

On The Drew Carey Show, the full, tongue-in-cheek name of one of Drew's best friends is Oswald Lee Harvey.

On the sitcom Boy Meets World, John Adams High was the school the youthful characters attended during the first few seasons. Actor William Daniels, who played teacher Mr. Feeny, coincidentally played John Adams in the film musical 1776 (1972).

On the sitcom Friends, the golden frame around the peephole of Monica and Rachel's apartment door was originally a mirror that had been accidentally broken by a crew member. But because the frame still looked good, it was decided to leave it there.

On the television show, Sesame Street, one man: Carroll Spinney plays Big Bird AND Oscar the Grouch. From within the 8' 2" yellow feathered suit, Spinney watches a small monitor with the same view as the audience. He operates Big Bird's head with one hand while working the bird's hand with his other. When Oscar and Big Bird are in the same scene, Spinney speaks for both Muppets, while another puppeteer operates Oscar.

On the TV sitcom Seinfeld, when Kramer moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, he landed the role of one of Murphy's short-term secretaries on Murphy Brown.

On the TV sitcom The Addams Family, it took actress Carolyn Jones two hours every day to put on Morticia's vampirish make-up. She also wore a full-length wig made of black human hair.

On TV game shows, a contestant who freezes before the camera is called a "Bambi," in reference to a deer paralyzed by the glare of headlights.

On TV's Dragnet, Sergeant Joe Friday's badge number was 714.

One alternate title that had been considered, but then discarded, for NBC's hit Friends was Insomnia Café.

One memorable line from TV's M*A*S*H was delivered by Alan Alda as Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce: "I will not carry a gun, Frank. When I got thrown into this war, I had a clear understanding with the Pentagon: no guns. I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!"

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