1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 3 (USA)
Comedian Ken Murray began his career as a teenager in the 1920s and had the first commercial programme on television in 1930. He became the host of his own weekly musical/variety show on CBS in 1950.
The Ken Murray Show was one of early American television’s most successful programmes and featured top celebrity guests and a large cast of regulars that, at various times, included former Our Gang film comedy’s child star Darla Hood, Joe Wong, Tony Labriola, Jack Mulhall, Betty Lou Walters, The Enchanters singing group, comedian Joe Besser, singer Art Lund, Pat Conway, Jane Bergmeier, Lillian Farmer, singer Anita Gordon, singer Johnny Johnston, and Laurie Anders, a pretty, wide-eyed cowgirl with a deadpan expression who stole the show each week (pictured at right).
Anders’ catchphrase, “Ah love the wide open spaces,” was quoted by everyone who had a television set at the time and was familiar with the show.
In between the comedy sketches and musical acts, Murray informally chatted with guests and talked directly to the viewers at home.
The programme began as an alternating show and became a weekly event a few months after it went on the air.
In 1953 – renamed Time To Smile – it returned to being an alternating show with The Alan Young Show.