Tag Archives: Goodson-Todman


18 Dec

54 years ago tonight, on Tuesday, December 18, 1956 the program “To Tell The Truth” premiered on CBS at 9:00pm. Hosted by Bud Collyer, the Goodson-Todman panel show ran in prime time for 11 seasons, before adding another 8 years in syndication. A daytime version also ran on CBS from 1962 until 1968.

Unused ticket for "To Tell The Truth" from November 5, 1974.

For the first 8 seasons in syndication, the show’s host was Garry Moore, even if they didn’t know how to spell his first name on the tickets (above). When Moore got ill he was replaced by Joe Garagiola for one final season. In my opinion, these three versions of the show are the only ones that really matter.

Another unused ticket for "To Tell The Truth" from November 5, 1974. (After all, they were free.)

To Tell The Truth” brought three people before a celebrity panel, all claiming to be the same person – someone who had done something interesting or unique. Two of them were “imposters” but the third was the real person. The panel tried to determine which “contestant” was the actual subject by asking the guests questions. Once the celebrities had voted the host would say, “Will the real ______ please stand up.” Those words became a national catch phrase throughout the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, and they’re still vividly remembered by most Americans over the age of 45.


5 Nov

Unused ticket for "To Tell the Truth," November 5, 1974

36 years ago on Tuesday November 5, 1974 I attended a taping of “To Tell the Truth.” It also happened to be Election Day. A regular panelist on the show at that time was the fun-loving Nipsey Russell, who had a poem for every occasion… and Election Day was no different.

Not yet 14-years old, I didn’t totally understand the poem he recited that day, but I never forgot it. And in time I learned why it was so funny.

It will help if you try to read this with Nipsey’s classic delivery in your mind:

I’ve written a poem about politics,

I think you should read it before you vote,

It’s about the Democrats, the Republicans, and the taxpayers,

And it’s called the donkey, the elephant, and the goat 

Unused ticket for "To Tell the Truth," November 5, 1974

Nipsey Russell died on October 2, 2005 at age 87. The man never failed to put a smile on my face.

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