I ran across this video yesterday while doing some research and it blew me away! It's a promo for an episode of TV's Racket Squad (1951-53).
The plot of the episode - a down and out Broadway producer is sick of losing money on productions and decides to produce a play so bad, so offensive (it's called Uncle Tom's Penthouse) that the show will be a sure flop. The producer will make money not by selling tickets but by selling a great deal more than 100% interest in the show to unknowing investors. When the play inevitably folds on the first night he can pocket a fortune. Unexpectedly, the play becomes a massive hit and there's no way to pay back the investors.
Sound familiar? Substitute Springtime For Hitler for Uncle Tom's Penthouse and you've got the plot of The Producers.
Did Mel Brooks get the idea for The Producers from this show? Probably. He was writing for a comedy program (Your Show of Shows) at the time that spoofed other TV shows so it makes sense that he might have seen that episode of Racket Squad and tucked away the idea until 15 years later when he was writing The Producers.
It's true you can't copyright an idea and there are only so many plotlines - besides, Racket Squad claimed that, "What you are about to see is a real life story taken from files of the police racket and bunco squads, business protective agencies and similar sources all over the country."
Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!
'TVParty.com, a TV history website... its links to Amazon.com help sell TV DVDs."
- Boston Globe,
1 / 07
the coolest, strangest, most absurd shows and peculiar tube trends ever
-- they're all part of the wallow that is TVparty!"
Five Sites - Interviews and articles... are must reads.'
too good to be true. Put together by Billy Ingram, TVparty.com has gossip,
scandal, sex, singing, dancing, action, drama and celebrities with their
'An ingenious tribute that elevates the TV past to artlike proportions.
Site guru Billy Ingram has compiled features both over-the-top and museum
worthy, blissful nostalgia for those born in the '40s or the '80s. A+
'Every decade expresses its kooky collective unconscious on the tube,
celebrated affectionately at Billy Ingram's TVparty. Ingram provides a
hilarious glimpse into the American pop psyche.'
'TVparty is hands
down the best site on the Web for classic TV.'
Video Vault / Holiday Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|Television's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the Seventies / The Eighties / TVafterparty / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
1950's TV Shows / Fess Parker & Davy Crockett / Jack Benny Program / 1952 Olympics Telethon / Amos 'n' Andy / Little Rascals & Our Gang / Howdy Doody / The Lone Ranger / Kuda Bux / Early Network News Broadcasts / KTLA News / TV's First Working Woman / Abbott & Costello TV Show / The Three Stooges: The Where They Were / The First 'Black' Show - Beulah / Women on TV in the 1950s / The Today Show / Serious 1950s TV shows / Remembering David Susskind / TV's First Rerun Series / The Ken Murray Budweiser Show / Saturday Morning Serials / Two Variety Shows of the Fifties / Game Shows of the Fifties /1950's TV Wrestling / Mr. Adams and Eve / TV's First Star / Bob Hastings / TV's First Star / History of the Laugh Track / The First Interactive Video Game / Designing Winky-Dink / The McKimson Brothers & Animation / Interview with a Show Business Legend / The Soundies / Snaders Telescriptions / Steve Allen Interviewed / Racket Squad / The Big Show / Beverly Garland & Decoy / Roger Muir / Noel Coward's 1955 TV Special / Jon Provost Interview / 1950's TV Shows on DVD / Oh Susanna! The Gale Storm Show / 1950's Old Time TV Thanksgiving / Outrageous 1950's Commercial! / The Real Superman? / Mickey Mouse Club's Cheryl / Gale Storm / Captain Allen Swift / NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Telecasts / Julie London / The Goldbergs / 1950's Female Singers / The Dead End Kids / Bowery Boys / Fred Allen / Ed Wynn / Mr. Belvedere Movies / Art Linkletter / The Bickersons / Marty & Live TV / George Gobel & Red Buttons / Barbara Billingsley / Billy Gray Interview / Abbott & Costello Show / The Honeymooners / Three Stooges' Joe Besser / Whirlybirds / Burns & Allen Show
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / Gay Icon T-Shirts / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|
for is right here: