1 9 6 2 – 1 9 7 0 (USA)
30 minute episodes
Girl Talk featured three female celebrities, led by opinionated Virginia Graham, expressing their feelings about life, current events, and most often, their thoughts about each other.
Put-downs were the order of the day both onstage (Time magazine reported that actress Natalie Schafer told columnist Sheilah Graham, “Oh, I’m so glad to meet you. You were the cause of my divorce”) and offstage (supposedly Jayne Mansfield was nonplussed when rotund comedienne Totie Fields told her, “People are constantly telling me how much alike you and I are”).
Guests such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Eva Gabor, Gloria Swanson, Betty White, Joan Rivers, Hermione Gingold, Agnes Moorehead, Florence Henderson, Jane Fonda, Arlene Francis and Joan Fontaine let the fur fly, but not all the talk consisted of backbiting.
For example, in 1966, actress Jean Muir discussed how she had been blacklisted in 1950 from the nighttime NBC sitcom The Aldrich Family following accusations that she was a Communist. The show proved to be rather uninformative to watch, for censors bleeped out not only the show, network, and sponsor (General Foods) involved in the matter but even the man to whom Muir appealed her dismissal.
Cackling Virginia Graham got her start as a syndicated talk show hostess with Food for Thought in the late 1950s after a run as a local New York show in 1953 on WABD.
A contract dispute led Graham to do her own hour-long daily syndicated talk show (The Virginia Graham Show, 1970-72), while Betsy Palmer became the hostess of Girl Talk and the show adopted a more informational tone which included some men as guests.
In other words, it became like every other daytime talk show, and shortly after it lost its distinctive edge, it went off the air.
Virginia Graham (1962 – 1969)
Betsy Palmer (1969 – 1970)