This is Your Life was one of those fifties television programs where someone would have their life shared before a studio and home audience. Sounds genial but everything was managed and it was, afterall, the early days of television. Family or friends would be off stage on a microphone and say something that only the surprised participant would know, “I taught you how to carve beavers in Woodcuts 101.”
My God, it was his art teacher from Kalamazoo!
Today would be far more perverse, with a meaner streak.
“I caught you in Aunt Bee’s hamper, Barne.”
My God, it’s Andy!
Even in the dawn of the blurry black and white live feeds of teevee, everything was ripe for satire and one night, Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows presented This is Your Story, with a Dante’s inferno revisionist twist of lemon.
The stuff I saw as a child I never expected to see again and it is as outrageous today as over fifty years ago. Coming Thursday Part 1 of a 3 part series in The Obsessive Collector starting with early television.