AIRDATES December 15, 1958-March 23, 1959

"From Hollywood, the ABC Television Network presents...Dr. I.Q., the Mental Banker!"
Sue England: "I have a lady, Doctor!"
Carol Byron: "I have a gentleman, Doctor!"
Tom: "And I have silver dollars for correct answers!"

Tom became "the mental banker" for three months in this fast-moving & simple quizzer.

Tom, er…Dr. I.Q. remained onstage for the duration of the show while his two assistants went through the studio audience looking for contestants, announcing they had found someone with "I have a lady/gentleman, doctor!" Dr. I.Q. would then read the audience member one question, with values for each question starting at $10 and gradually increasing as the show progressed. A correct answer won the appropriate amount in silver dollars ("Give that lady ten silver dollars!," the good doctor would say), while a wrong answer netted $1 as a consolation.

Also at some point during the half-hour, a peppy jingle would ring out, signaling that the player whom had been selected when the jingle sounded would spin the Wisdom Wheel, which had money amounts ranging from $1 to $100. Each wedge on the wheel had a corresponding question attached to it, increasing in difficulty for higher amounts.

There was also the "Lady in the Balcony" game. A woman was selected from the audience and placed in the balcony and given a limit of five wrong answers. Dr. I.Q. would then read the lady five questions. If she still had some wrong answers remaining of the five limit, she could come back the following week. If the lady in the balcony could last four weeks without giving a total of five wrong answers, she would win a jackpot.

Additionally, a home viewer was selected at random each week to play the game with Dr. I.Q. via telephone.

One of the interesting things about this show is that it demonstrates a number of effects that stemmed from the quiz show scandals. First, the show has NO sponsors, with ABC programs being plugged throughout the night instead of products. Second, as you've seen, it's played for extremely low stakes. Third, the show acknowledges that viewers don't trust quiz shows anymore, with Dr. I.Q. actually opening each show by announcing, "Our show is entirely unrehearsed!"


This is Tom's second series, and he already comes across as an old pro on this show, moving everything along at a brisk pace, looking and sounding prepared, and keeping the fast rhythm consistent throughout the broadcast, even when the sudden shake-ups like home viewer questions and the Wisdom Wheel pop up from out of nowhere. If I had been watching in 1958 and you told me the good doctor would be emceeing for 30 more years, I would have believed you.

Up One Level to: The Shows of Tom Kennedy

Up Two Levels to: Tom Kennedy's World

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