Quiz Shows

Rod Coneybeare host of Yes, You're Wrong - 1976 (CBC Still Photo Collection)

Rod Coneybeare host of Yes, You're Wrong - 1976 (CBC Still Photo Collection)

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Beginning in the 1940's, quiz shows were a regular part of programming on CBC Radio.  On this Rewind, a four-decade tour that will have you shouting out the answers as you listen.

If you'd like to listen to this show, you can do so right here.
The first stop is 1947. The young CBC Radio was attempting a bold technological feat. It was The International Quiz - a program that pitted a team from Canada against a team from Australia. The show was produced in Australia, but the Canadian team was linked with using the very latest in audio technology. The show tested not only our long-distance technologies, but also relations between the two usually friendly countries. Canada didn't get off to a great start, but managed a dramatic comeback and by the end, the International Quiz was neck-and-neck.  You can listen to the nail-biting finale.

From that cross-boundary battle, we headed to the next destination: Halifax, Nova Scotia. That was where the Goodwill Quiz was broadcast in the late 40's. Like most quiz shows of the era, it was done in front of a live audience. From the sounds of it, this was one of the most exciting events in Halifax on that particular day. It was a classic Canadian quiz show of the time: an enthusiastic audience, politically incorrect announcers and quintessentially small prizes.

Now I Ask You was a CBC Radio Quiz show that came out of Toronto back in the 50's. Its producer, Sandy Stewart, referred to the series as "a popular radio panel show for eggheads." There were two teams.  Listeners sent in questions to try to stump each team.  Ralph Allen, editor of Macleans Magazine and the journalist and critic James Bannerman were on one side. They went up against the author Morley Callaghan who was teamed up with a weekly guest. J.B. McGeachy, associate editor of the Globe and Mail at the team, was the host.

In 1965, Rod Coneybeare, who went on to be the voices of Rusty and Jerome on the children's program The Friendly Giant, hosted a quiz show called Remember This? A panel was given the task of identifying old movie and radio clips. The panellists were Joyce Sullivan, Dennis Braithwaite and Fred Davis who hosted the TV game show, Front Page Challenge. 

Over the past seventy five or so years, CBC Radio has produced a wide array of quiz shows: some serious, some frivolous. Some complicated, some very simple. Simple seems to work best. Take this next show. Broadcast in 1954, Hide and Seek was a variation on a simple yes-or-no game like Twenty Questions.

Time now to move into the 1970's. In fashion it was the era of pantsuits and platform shoes. In CBC Radio quiz shows, it was the era of Yes, You're Wrong. It was a hip, tightly edited show recorded in front of a live audience at Toronto's Aladdin Theatre. Rod Conneybeare was again the host. And as the title suggests, the wrong answers were often more entertaining than the correct ones.   

The last quiz show in this program was one where many countless CBC Radio listeners were stumped each week. It was part of the program Sunday Morning. It was Audiofiles, the quiz where listeners were challenged to guess the news story suggested by a series of seemingly disparate clips. Our example was from February 1992.

If you'd like to listen to this show, you can do so right here.