This Was Television On January 18

1948: The Original Amateur Hour comes to TV

Adapting the hit radio program Major Bowes Amateur Hour, this forerunner of talent competitions like Star Search began a 22-year run on this date. Nonprofessional contestants performed variety acts from singing to dancing to plate spinning, with the home audience voting for their favorites by phone and mail. Originally airing on the DuMont Network, it also logged time on all three other major networks, finishing the final decade of its run on CBS until 1970. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Alison Arngrim, prairie-dweller (51); Dave Attell, comic (48); Bob Bell, clown (d. 1997); Dick Durock, stuntman (d. 2009); Danny Kaye, showman (d. 1987); Devon Odessa, estranged friend (39); Maulik Pancholy, executive assistant (39); Jason Segel, slap administer (33).

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