Four women, each with a sob story, vie to become "Queen for a Day."




1958   1956   1954  


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Series cast summary:
Gene Baker ...
 Himself - Announcer (3 episodes, 1954-1958)


"Do YOU want to be Queen for a Day?!" Host Bailey would bellow out those words before each program, to which the audience would reply en masse: "YES!" Four women, each having a sob story to tell, told Bailey why they believed they should be crowned the show's "Queen." Usually, each contestant asked for a merchandise prize, such as a washer and dryer. After all four stories were told, the audience determined the winner by applause (determined via the "applause meter"). The winner won her prizes, plus was bedecked in a sable-trimmed red velvet robe and jeweled crown. Interspersed between the contestants' stories was fashion commentary. Written by Brian Rathjen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

3 January 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite its long run, less than 10 episodes survive of this popular series. Please check your attic. See more »


Featured in The Fifties (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Popular Game Show Bestowed Gifts and Cold Ca$h on The Lady with the Saddest Story. Its Format was Fatally Flawed in Competition of Needy vs. The Other Needy.
10 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The world of the TV Game Show was going full blast in TV's earliest days. We had the the Networks teaming with the likes of titles such as: "BREAK THE BANK" (Bert Parks 1948-57), "STRIKE IT RICH" (Warren Hull 1951-55), "STOP THE MUSIC" (Bert Parks 1949-56) and "THE BIG PAYOFF" (Bess Myerson & Randy Meriman 1951-59 ). There was plenty of music, flashing lights and tons of prizes as well as ca$h! A good time was had by all!

Then we had "QUEEN FOR A DAY" (Jack Bailey 1956-64). This show stands out from all others. It has been written up in sociological studies and psychological journals a like. It was highly unique in format and rules of engagement between competing contestants. In our proverbial nutshell, the show MC, strong lunged Jack Bailey, would introduce each of 3 contestants, one at a time. All the Lady contestants had so long a time to tell the Host, the Studio Audience and the Whole Televiewing world at large, just why she should be chosen "Queen for a Day!"

The sadder the story, the more tears and hankies used, the better as it was sad stories and those women caught up in that the show wanted. Prizes included furniture, household appliances and even cold ca$h, were those things among the prizes.

As each contestant was brought out on stage, Host Mr. Bailey would conduct a sort of interview, just to make sure that all the proper, relevant, squalid details weren't overlooked, omitted or otherwise forgotten. Jack also had a habit of attempting to put the ladies at ease with a little good-natured joshing. (That was really a sight to behold! On the one hand we had the little, teary-eyed sobstress; in contrast big, bellow-voiced Mr. Bailey, "gently" kidding the wretched, little teary eyed dear.

It would go something like:

LADY CONTESTANT: "…..and after that, Jack, (sob, sob!) My husband died, then (boo-hoo!), we were evicted, and were (wahhhh!) out in the cold Winter, and….." JACK BAILEY: "Well, HA, HA, HA!! Today is your Lucky Day, getting to tell your story here and having the chance at being chosen (raising the amplification on his already shattering voice level) QUEEN FOR A DAY!"

Toward the conclusion of the program, the studio audience would choose who would be that day's QUEEN FOR A DAY! We don't know, but we believe that the two runners-up did get some sort of prize or compensation for competing, telling their sad stories and otherwise baring their souls to the World.

No, we don't know; but we sure hope so!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So bad it lasted longer than tool time mizes2000-1
Like Gold robert4770
Discuss Queen for a Day (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page