1950's Saturday Morning Shows Everything
you're looking
for is right here:

TimeLife.com
Save money!
Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Ripcord on DVD Thunderbirds on DVD Classic Commercials on DVD Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD


Mike Wallace, Virgginia Graham, & Jim Longworth
by Jim Longworth

mike wallace / classic tv star

Legendary broadcaster Mike Wallace passed away April 7, 2012 at the age of 93, and for most Americans, he will forever be remembered as the man who pioneered the modern day, hard hitting interview. But behind every interviewer is a good producer, and Mike had a number of them over the years. One day in 1979, though, it was Mike who worked behind the scenes to help produce a segment for someone else. More on that in a moment.

Mike Wallace graduated the University of Michigan with a degree in journalism, but he was not always a journalist. During WWII he served as a Navy communications officer, and after the war he worked as a radio announcer on such programs as "The Green Hornet". He even dabbled in acting, starring in the 1949 police drama "Stand By for Crime".

Then, as network television expanded its programming, Wallace spent his time hosting game shows. But by the end of the 1950's Mike had found his niche, and was becoming known as a top notch interviewer on shows such as "Biography" and "Nightbeat". One of Wallace's most memorable interviews was with Malcolm X who told Mike, "If you want to know what's going on with Black people, don't ask Black leaders". Malcolm also predicted his death, and shortly after the interview, he was assassinated.

One of Mike's admirers was Don Hewitt, a protege of Edward R. Murrow who had produced the Kennedy/Nixon debates. In 1968, CBS asked Hewitt to create a news magazine show that would be hard hitting, so Don hired Mike to co-anchor with the mild mannered Harry Reasoner. After a few schedule changes, "60 Minutes" landed in its permanent Sunday night time slot, and became the most respected news program in the history of broadcasting.

Mike's attack-dog style of interviewing was a perfect fit for "60 Minutes", which gave him a forum for uncovering scams and corruption. "He would take on anyone and ask the questions no one else had the guts to ask", said Hewitt. Wallace stepped down as host of "60 Minutes" in 2006, having collected hundreds of awards, including twenty EMMYs.

But I will always remember Mike Wallace as a fun-loving guy who helped me produce a segment that was specifically designed to embarrass one of his best friends. The year was 1979,and I was hosting a live, daily television talk show in Richmond, Virginia for abc affiliate WXEX (now WRIC). Though we got creamed in the ratings by Donohue (just my luck I would be on opposite the King of daytime TV), I went all out to attract interesting and notable guests.

Virginia GrahamOn this particular week I was scheduled to interview Virginia Graham who pioneered Women's talk shows. She blazed a trail for Oprah, Sally Jesse, and Ellen, and was still a big star. Back in the mid 1950's, though, Virginia hosted a daily radio program titled, "Weekday". Her co-host was a young Mike Wallace.

I began doing research on Ms. Graham a couple of weeks prior to the interview, and discovered her connection to Wallace. That's when I decided to see if the "60 Minutes" attack dog would give me any dirt to use on Virginia, so I dialed up CBS in New York, and asked for Mike. In those days, the CBS switchboard operator would connect you directly to the office of their on-air personalities.

After one ring, a deep, distinctive voice came over the phone, and two things went through my mind immediately. First, I couldn't believe Mike Wallace would answer his own phone. And, second, I couldn't believe I was speaking to him.

Fortunately I snapped out of my daze, and explained that I was looking for a funny anecdote I could use when Virginia came on my show. Without a moment's hesitation, Mike gave me a dandy story. It seems that one day while doing their radio program together, Mike made Virginia laugh so hard that she literally peed in her panties. "Use that", Mike told me, and I did. A few days later I shocked Virginia by revealing her most embarrassing moment in broadcasting, and she laughed so hard that we nearly witnessed a repeat of her infamous excretion. That day, I had a better show than Donohue, and it was all due to the advance work of my very own celebrity producer.

The late Andy Rooney once said of Mike Wallace, "He was a genius at getting people to reveal themselves on camera". True enough, but Mike was also willing to share his genius with others, and, on this one occasion, help a young, upstart TV host beat Donohue's ass. At least for a day.

 

A blooper from a radio show in 1956 when Wallace and Graham served as co-host of the NBC radio show Weekday - listen to how annoyed co-host Mike Wallace sounds!

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

MIKE WALLACE &
VIRGINIA GRAHAM

“I determined that if I was to carve out a piece of reportorial territory for myself it would be [doing] the hard interview, irreverent if necessary, the façade-piercing interview.” - Mike Wallace

 

More on VIRGINIA GRAHAM

 


Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!

 

Amazon Prime - unlimited streaming
of your fave TV shows and movies!
Get your FREE 30 Day Trial!

 

 

 


Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments

Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Dawn Wells / Gavin McLeod / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Actor Ed Nelson / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched

Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / 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 / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / 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 / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 

Diver Dan TV show on DVD Beulah TV show on DVD Match Game on DVD Route 66 season 2 on DVD All in the Family DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Tennessee Tuxedo on DVD
Looking for classic TV on DVD?/See below:
Back to the menu
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites

TVparty! Television Blog

 

Back to the menu
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites