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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Sir Cedric Hardwicke
was paraded around before the crowd on the back on an elephant to commemorate his role as a British officer in India during the film. The fact that he was seated on an unsecured cloth in an open carriage atop the beast almost allowed him to fall when the elephant's gait began to rock the elderly actor too hard. Hardwicke fought to maintain his place atop the pachyderm to the applause of the audience. See more