'This Is Show Business' was a low-budget tv show with an interesting format. The series featured a rotating panel of four 'experts' (usually two men and two women) who were seasoned show-biz pros and who were noted for their nimble wits. A guest star (usually a solo performer, but sometimes a duo or trio) would be introduced, and then the guest star revealed to the panel that he (or she) had a personal problem requiring their advice. Because the guest stars were usually unwilling to divulge any genuine personal problems on live tv, the 'problem' was usually very minor or no problem at all ... such as the occasion when guest star Eddie Fisher confessed that he was "too popular with girls", and how could he resolve this 'problem'?
After making this confession, the guest star would then perform his/her/their act, usually a song or a comedy monologue. Afterwards, the panel members would then suggest solutions to the problem.
One episode of this programme made national headlines because of a remark by panelist George S. Kaufman, a Broadway playwright noted for his lack of sentiment. Shortly before Christmas 1952, the weekly episode had proceeded to plan with no problems until just before sign-off, when Kaufman remarked: 'Let's make this one programme on which nobody sings "Silent Night".' Immediately the network's switchboard lit up with phone calls from viewers complaining that Kaufman was un-American, anti-Christian, and so forth. The producers were forced to drop Kaufman from the programme for several weeks, but he was quietly reinstated in 1953, and from that point he was careful to use his acid tongue a bit more tactfully.
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