Earn Your Vacation

Quick: Name a show that was hosted by Steve Allen and later by Johnny Carson.

If you said The Tonight Show, you’re right…unless someone wants to nitpick.  Allen’s version was only called Tonight, not The Tonight Show.  But you’d certainly be right if you named Earn Your Vacation.  Allen hosted the radio version after a while was followed on the schedule by a half-hour Steve Allen Show done from the same studio after they cleared away whatever was needed to do the game show.  On Earn Your Vacation, most of the contestants were school teachers and if they could answer enough questions, they won trips to exotic locales.  The show survived into 1951 when it was retooled into Your Tropical Trip with Desi Arnaz.  In 1954, it came back to TV as Earn Your Vacation again and it was hosted by the then-new-to-television Johnny Carson.

Mr. Carson must have had some fun with the name of his bandleader.  Ludwig Elias Gluskin (1898-1989) headed up a number of popular dance bands throughout Europe in the twenties and thirties, migrated to the U.S. (where he was born) in the forties.  This was reportedly because, being Jewish, he had trouble getting work on that continent during World War II.  He hooked up with CBS here and became a constant presence on radio programs, including a long stint providing the music for The Burns and Allen Show.  He followed Johnny to his next job…The Johnny Carson Show.