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
Did You Know?
In the center of party on the floor of Madison Square Garden was a 30-foot wide, 14-foot tall, one-ton birthday cake. Elizabeth Taylor
, Mrs. Michael Todd
, made the ceremonial first slice of the cake which was then offered to the audience. See more