Nelson Eddy - 33 at the time - was required to do a screen test for the film). Eddy's test took 58 takes and even the best was determined to be awful. MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer overruled everyone and ordered that he be only used for a singing sequence in the film.
This film originated in an unreleased musical revue, The March of Time (1930), which was to have featured real and recreated vaudeville star acts. When that project was abandoned, MGM tried to salvage the footage by creating a new story into which they could insert footage shot for the earlier project. Some of the inserted footage contained shots of well-known performers who had only been in the earlier film, such as Fay Templeton, Marie Dressler, William Collier Sr., and DeWolf Hopper Sr., but since almost all of the incorporated footage was in long shot, most of these actors, if present, are impossible to identify. A copyright continuity of the film, however, suggests that they are present, even if unrecognizably so. Dressler, however, is mentioned by characters in the movie.
This film was originally intended to include a lot of footage from the uncompleted The March of Time (1930), much of it in 2-strip Technicolor, but most of it seems to be missing from the surviving version, as shown on Turner Classic Movies, and there is no color footage anywhere to be seen.
This film's earliest telecasts took place in New York City Monday 19 August 1957 on WCBS (Channel 20, followed by Philadelphia Monday 2 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Los Angeles 22 January 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco its first documented airing took place 31 January 1963 on KGO (Channel 7).