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This Is Show Business

1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 4 (USA)

Moderated by Clifton Fadiman, This Is Show Business featured guest performers who displayed their talent and talked about problems they were having in show business. Regular panellists included humorist Sam Levenson and witty playwright George S Kaufman.

On 21 December 1952, a controversial programme aired on which the always acerbic Kaufman – who was talking about the over-commercialisation of Christmas – remarked: “Let’s make this one programme on which no one sings Silent Night.”

In spite of Levenson’s attempts to excuse Kaufman’s remarks, hundreds of letters were sent to CBS complaining about the playwright’s anti-Christmas comments and demanding that he be fired from the show.

Levenson continued to appear on the programme but Kaufman was indeed temporarily removed from the show.