Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-082 This Is Your Life.mpg


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Episode Description:

This Is Your Life was an American television documentary series broadcast on NBC, originally hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards from 1952 to 1961. In the show, the host surprises a guest, and proceeds to take them through their life in front of an audience including friends and family.

The idea for This Is Your Life arose while Edwards was working on Truth or Consequences. He had been asked by the U.S. Army to "do something" for paraplegic soldiers at Birmingham General Hospital, a Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California Army rehabilitation hospital (a site later converted into a high school). Edwards chose a "particularly despondent young soldier and hit on the idea of presenting his life on the air, in order to integrate the wreckage of the present with his happier past and the promise of a hopeful future." Edwards received such positive public feedback from the "capsule narrative" of the soldier he gave on Truth or Consequences that he developed This Is Your Life as a new radio show. In the show, Edwards would surprise each guest by narrating a biography of the subject. The show "alternated in presenting the life stories of entertainment personalities and 'ordinary' people who had contributed in some way to their communities." The host, consulting his "red book", would narrate while presenting the subject with family members, friends, and others who had had an impact on his or her life.

By the 1950s, the show was aired live before a theater audience. The guests were surprised by Ralph Edwards and confronted by the microphone and cameras. They made their way to the studio during the first commercial break. Most of the honorees quickly got over their initial shock and enjoyed meeting bygone friends again, as with Don DeFore on May 6, 1953. Movie producer Mack Sennett's response was typical: he hated being caught off-guard, but as the tribute progressed he relaxed, and by the end of the show he was quite pleased with the experience.

Planning for the broadcast meant that some would know in advance about the surprise. Carl Reiner later admitted that he knew beforehand about his appearance. In some cases the episode was not a surprise: Eddie Cantor had a heart condition, so the show's producers made sure that he wasn't surprised.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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[SD File Downloads]: 16

[HD File Downloads]: 0

[Total File Downloads]: 16

 


SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-082 This Is Your Life.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:28:19

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,278,569,126 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 11:52


HD (High Definition) File


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