October 17, 1957, the CBS Television Network diverted from its typical format of live dramatic presentations for "Playhouse 90" to cover Michael Todd's gigantic party commemorating the one-year anniversary of the release of his film "Around The World In 80 Days". Todd invited 18-thousand people to the gala in New York City's Madison Square Garden though the number probably was far greater because of party-crashers. Walter Cronkite hosted the coverage with future ABC Sports ace Jim McKay and news veteran Bill Leonard handling the interviewing of numerous celebrity party guests. During the broadcast, Garry Moore hosted occasional comedy vignettes of how Todd came to create his Academy award-winning movie. Written by
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When the food was offered to the crowd at the conclusion of the party, an unruly mob washed onto the Madison Square Garden floor with some members stealing scenery and props as "mementos" of the affair. Elizabeth Taylor said some waiters would hoard the champagne, water it down and sell it to guests for $10.00 a bottle. She said "the sight of chic, lacquered, coiffured, elegant women fighting with little kids over a hamburger" contributed to making the whole event an "unmitigated disaster". See more