People’s Choice, The

In the fifties, a lot of comedy shows filmed without a live audience, then showed the finished films to one and recorded and dubbed in that audience’s response.  Usually, this was done in “preview” sessions and in order to get in audiences (and get them in the mood to laugh), the stars of the show would usually put in an appearance.  Often, the screenings would be part of a whole show with comedians and there would be refreshments and prizes, as well.

The ticket is for a two-episode preview screening of The People’s Choice, a situation comedy starring Jackie Cooper that aired on NBC for three seasons, starting on October 6, 1955 and ending on September 25, 1958.  It was thereafter quite popular in syndication for a time.  The show was created by Irving Brecher, the writer who was responsible for The Life of Riley, the screenplay for Bye Bye Birdie, the screenplays for two Marx Brothers movies and many other successful enterprises.  Jackie Cooper played Socrates “Sock” Miller, an ornithologist who’s dating the daughter of the Mayor of his city and who gets involved in the town’s politics, getting elected to its City Council.  The show was stolen though by Cleo, a basset hound who would comment on the proceedings from time to time.  The folks in the show couldn’t hear her but we at home could hear her thoughts which were provided by actress Mary Jane Croft.  Cleo was such an important part of the show that as you can see, they promised she’d even be at the preview screenings.

1016 N. Sycamore was the address of General Services Studio, a rental facility in Hollywood where an awful lot of situation comedies filmed.