1 9 5 2 – 1 9 7 0 (USA)
730 x 30 minute epiosdes
Art Linkletter’s House Party began as a CBS radio show in January 1945 and ran there until October 1967, with the last few years using a tape of the audio portion of the TV series.
When the show arrived on television, it became the first CBS daily series produced live from Hollywood, where it soon became a fixture in the 2:30 pm daily time slot. In 1955, it won the very first Emmy for Best Daytime Show.
Thanks mainly to its long broadcasting run, Art Linkletter – who developed and split ownership of the show with producer John Guedel – became a millionaire.
Each show usually opened with a few jokes from Art, then a simple quiz for a woman in his audience. Art then interviewed
a guest expert who also answered some questions from his audience (those asking questions got gifts).
Among the experts the host who appeared occasionally were actor Adolphe Menjou as permanent “fashion authority” in 1957; Dr James A. Peterson, marriage counsellor at the University of South Carolina (and host of For Better or Worse), with bridal advice in 1959; and Hollywood fashion designer Edith Head.
But the show’s highlight for most viewers was the daily 10-minute segment where Linkletter interviewed four children. The children generally ranged in age from 5 to 10, and their spontaneous comments were priceless (a 5-year-old girl was asked if she had any siblings and replied, “No, I’m single.”)
By 1964, regular features included Bonnie Prudden’s exercise tips for women, bloopers from CBS TV series, and interviews with former movie stars.
On the show’s 20th anniversary on 22 January 1965, Ralph Edwards did a This Is Your Life tribute on Linkletter.
The following year, the series added a feature on unclaimed estates that netted heirs more than $1 million before the show’s cancellation.
In 1968, with its ratings sinking against The Doctors on NBC, CBS moved the show to 4 pm and retitled it The Art Linkletter Show.
Linkletter’s daughter Diane joined him as a regular, and the format became a more standard talk show.
This caused the ratings to drop further, and the show went off the network in 1969 after an impressive 17-year run.
In one of the last shows, Art and Diane performed their narrative song, We Love You, Call Collect, about a parent’s plea to their troubled daughter.
Shortly thereafter – on 4 October I969 – Diane Linkletter leapt to her death from her sixth-floor apartment under the influence of drugs, aged 20.
The song was issued as a record after Diane’s death and won a Grammy award for best spoken word recording.
In 1970, NBC revived the property under the name Lifè with Linkletter, with Art’s son Jack co-hosting the talk show. It fared poorly against As the World Turns and Let’s Make a Deal and went off within a year.
Linkletter appeared only occasionally on television after this show. He died in May 2010, aged 97.