Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


 Okay, I'm confused.

This show was originally called The Art Baker Show when it premiered on the DuMont Network in December 1950.  That makes sense because Art Baker was the host and the creator of the show.  The show's name was soon changed to You Asked For It.  This also makes sense because it easily explains the concept of the show and perhaps because few people knew who Art Baker was.  (I certainly didn't.  I was four years old at the time and we had had our television set for all of two months.)  But supposedly the title change came in April 1951 -- two months after this particular episode aired.  But this episode is clearly titled You Asked For It.  So either I got the air date wrong or the title change came much earlier.

Art Baker, "your genii with the light white hair," was a popular radio personality.  His L.A. based radio show, Art Baker's Notebook, ran for over 20 years beginning in 1938.  He also appeared in 48 movies, starting with uncredited roles in the 30s and moving on to appear in such films as Spellbound, Abie's Irish Rose, and The Farmer's DaughterYou Asked For It ran through September 1959.  Baker hosted the show for all but the final 20 episodes when replaced by Jack Smith.  Baker continued to act in television and films until his death in 1966.

The question remains, who asked for it?  The show's viewers did, through postcards requesting what they wanted to see,,,from reunions of the Our Gang actors to views of movie stars homes, from secrets of special effects to people working with wild animals, from the eerie Winchester House to modern engineering marvels.  Most of the requests seem humdrum to today's jaded viewers, but to audiences in the early days of television this was pretty heady stuff.

I guess you had to be there.

From (I believe) February 7, 1951, here's the show's (methinks) sixth episode:

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