1 9 5 0 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
The Stork Club was televised live on CBS from a specially-constructed room at the famous Manhattan club on East 53rd Street.
The show debuted on 7 July 1950 and ran through to 1955.
Guest celebrities were informally interviewed at the special ‘Table 50’ and were often given Welsh terriers and boxers as gifts for appearing.
Home viewers could also receive one of the pets by sending in particularly interesting questions to be asked of a specific guest.
When the series began, Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy were regulars. They left in the fall of 1950, around the time Johnny Johnston and Virginia Peine (wife of writer Quentin Reynolds) were added.
Johnny lasted only a couple of months and Miss Peine was on until the following June. At that point, Sherman Billingsley – the owner of the club – became the sole host of the show. He became a television celebrity through the series.
Billingsley started his career by gathering empty bottles and peddling magazines to get $25 to launch a soft drink stand. Then he and his brother bought a drug store in Oklahoma. Wanderlust took him to the Bronx, another drug store, and finally, the Stork.