1 9 5 3 – 1 9 5 4 (USA)
1 9 5 8 – 1 9 5 9 (USA)
30 minute episodes
Doctor IQ, the granddaddy of all American radio quiz shows, turned up on television in 1953 – in its original guise. The producers simply trained their cameras on the old radio show making no concessions to the requirements of TV.
Aside from that important drawback, Doctor IQ certainly held its own with other TV quizzes of the day. It was a welcome relief to tune in to a quiz show that dealt simply with just the facts ma’am.
Contestants were drawn from the studio audience but were not forced to undergo any of the tortuous tricks and synthetic stunts that befell contestants on other television quizzes.
The good doctor (former Washington DC sportscaster Jay Owen) shouted the questions from his podium and the contestants answered them without even rising from their seats.
Viewers acquainted with the radio version no doubt got a nostalgic kick from some of the doctor’s quotes that were almost household phrases back in the radio-only days. “I have a lady in the balcony, doctor,” was still the pet call of his four assistants who roamed the audience with handheld microphones.
Jay Owen kept the pace perky with his rapid-fire questions and just as rapid pay-offs in silver dollars (“Give that lady ten silver dollars!”).
James McClain (who had hosted the radio version of the quiz) took over as host in 1954. When the show returned in 1958, the host was Tom Kennedy.