An idealistic young lawyer working for a Congressional subcommittee in the late 1950s discovers that TV quiz shows are being fixed. His investigation focuses on two contestants on the show "Twenty-One": Herbert Stempel, a brash working-class Jew from Queens, and Charles Van Doren, the patrician scion of one of America's leading literary families. Based on a true story. Written by
Tim Horrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fifty million people watched, but no one saw a thing.
Did You Know?
Charles Van Doren
did talk to the grand jury and through his lawyer, saying he was innocent, and even claimed that, "it is silly and distressing to think that people don't have more faith in quiz shows." He offered to appear before the Congressional (House) Committee (on Interstate and Foreign Commerce), so they subpoenaed him to do so; in November of 1959 he confessed. He told reporters at the following press conference that he had been, "living in dread for almost 3 years." See more
During the "Today Show" interview, flags are visible as the camera pans to the shot of the crowd. The present-day South African flag is clearly visible. See more
I'm happy that you've made the statement. But I cannot agree with most of my colleagues. See, I don't think an adult of your intelligence should be commended for simply, at long last, telling the truth.
Herbert Stempel went to work for the New York City Transit Department. He still lives in Queens. See more
Written by Kurt Weill
and Bertolt Brecht
Performed by Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett appears courtesy of Curb Music Company and MCA Records See more