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Q: Quizzing Contestants

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1280785.  Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:26 am Reply with quote

One that I think Toksvig will like:

In 1955, Dr Joyce Brothers was the first woman and second person overall to win ‘The $64,000 Question’, a game show in which contestants must answer questions correctly in order build up their cash prize, starting from $64 for answering the first question correctly to $64,000 (much alike Who wants to be a Millionaire).

As part of the format of the show, contestants would choose a topic of expertise for all the questions to be based on, in which Brothers originally chose her topic to be on psychology and was denied by producers due to the subject being too ‘vague and uninteresting’. She returned weeks later choosing boxing as her topic and in preparation for the show memorized 20 volumes of boxing encyclopedias.

However, producers took a dislike towards Brothers and decided she needed to be eliminated from the show, and therefore deliberately added questions that they thought were beyond her knowledge as to trip her up. Despite this, Brothers answered every question with incredible ease and went on to win the grand prize.

In fact, the discrimination against her winning was polar opposite to what was happening at the time for in 1959 it was revealed that a number of quiz shows circulating around the 1950s were fixed, and contestants were given assistance by show producers in order to give them an advantage. Brothers, however denied any such cheating, and was exonerated by one of the accused producers of the show. Later on, Brothers returned in a spin off named ‘The $64,000 Challenge’ in which contestants competed against experts in their fields, and once again won the top prize.

In relation to how she won, Brothers credits her ‘good memory’, although Nat Fleischer, a boxing journalist who was helping Brothers study for the show, stated that Brothers could read pages of statistics and recite them back in almost perfect memory, as to suggest she had eidetic/photographic memory, although this has never been confirmed.

Due to the success of her appearance on the game show, Brothers landed the position of Colour Commentator on CBS for a boxing match between Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson, and as a result of this appearance, Brothers is considered the first woman commentator in boxing.

However, Brothers was noted for a list of other great things: She became a TV and radio psychologist in which she addressed a number of taboo subjects of the time including menopause, impotence, and sexual enjoyment. She wrote advice columns that were featured in more than 350 newspapers and hosted three of her own television shows – ‘The Dr Joyce Brothers Show’, ‘Ask Dr Brothers’ and ‘Living Easy with Dr Joyce Brothers’. She was also a feminist and an equality activist, in which she called upon for textbooks to remove their sexist bias.

Overall, a pretty cool woman and a quizzing great for sure.



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