Queen for a Day

Queen For A Day was an offensive, voyeuristic show that capitalized on the misery of its contestants, and I’m surprised no one has tried reviving it lately. Basically, a number of women were paraded on camera each episode to tell why they should be named “Queen For A Day” and awarded a big prize package. Ostensibly, that honor was to go to someone who’d done something to deserve it, but the show usually devolved into the ladies telling about how awful their lives were; how their husbands had left them or died and how their mother was ill and how the roof on their home was collapsing, etc. Somehow, went the premise, some of this would be put right and their lives set on a happier course if the show’s studio audience would vote them “Queen For A Day” which meant they’d get crowned with a tiara and sent home with a box of small appliances. There were a lot of tears, and I guess America’s homemakers liked to watch and cry along, and think, “Thank God that woman has it worse than me,” or something of the sort. An awful spectacle, especially when you considered all the women who cried and poured their hearts out on network TV and didn’t even win the Waring Blender and the case of Noxzema that the winner got.

The show moved around to various studios in Hollywood, broadcasting for a time from (as above) the Hawaii Theatre , which was another of Sid Grauman’s “international” film palaces. The Chinese and The Egyptian were, and still are, further west on Hollywood. The Hawaiian is now a Salvation Army church. I’m guessing the above ticket is from 1953, when the show was seen only on television in Los Angeles. It went network in 1956 on NBC, moved to ABC in 1960 and finally went off in 1964.